CEDAR CITY, Utah — UNLV held off repeated surges by Southern Utah, and leading by two points in the closing minutes, Jovan Mooring stepped up with two important baskets Wednesday night.
His play allowed the Rebels to pull away and win 89-81 at Centrum Arena.
Mooring delivered a 3-pointer with 2:24 left for an 80-75 lead.
“I just wanted to make a play for my team,” Mooring said. “I’m confident I can make that type of shot. I know Coach (Marvin Menzies) would’ve snapped on me if I had missed it. It was a big shot for me.”
About a minute after making that shot, he drove for a layup to stretch the advantage to seven points and all but ice the game.
Mooring finished with 16 points, but Dwayne Morgan led the Rebels (5-2) with 19 points and 14 rebounds. Six UNLV players finished in double figures.
Randy Onwuasor, who entered the game averaging 20.3 points, led Southern Utah (2-5) with 19 points, but he scored only three in the second half and fouled out with 4:59 left.
UNLV never trailed, and the only tie was 0-0. But the Thunderbirds repeatedly cut the Rebels’ lead to a possession in the second half.
Freshman forward Ben Coupet Jr. received his first career start for UNLV and scored five points. He took the place of Uche Ofoegbu, who didn’t play because of an illness.
Contact reporter Mark Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-2914. Follow @markanderson65 on Twitter.