No. 18 UNLV 94, UC Santa Barbara 88
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (AP)
It turned out to be doubly tough, as the 18th-ranked Runnin' Rebels needed two overtimes to defeat UC Santa Barbara 94-88 on Wednesday night.
''Being ranked for the first time this year, we knew we'd come in here with a bull's eye on our backs, and that UCSB would put forth a great effort,'' Rice said. ''There were so many plays on both sides. We answered every challenge.''
The Rebels (8-0) were coming off a 90-80 victory over then-No. 1 North Carolina in the finals of the Las Vegas Invitational.
Moser came into the game as the nation's leading rebounder, but he did most of the damage against UCSB from behind the arc. He made six 3-pointers, including five in the second half. The sophomore forward, whose previous career-high was 23 points, had 10 rebounds.
''Mike Moser works hard to be a versatile player,'' Rice said. ''He's the first in the gym for practice and the last to leave.''
Orlando Johnson led the Gauchos (4-2) with 36 points and 10 rebounds. It was second consecutive overtime defeat for UCSB, which lost 76-75 to San Diego State in its previous game.
''He and Moser put on quite a show,'' UCSB coach Bob Williams said of Johnson. ''Orlando was a warrior, an absolute warrior.''
After UCSB took an 81-78 lead with 13 seconds remaining in the first overtime on three free throws by James Nunnally, Stanback nailed his big 3-pointer.
''If he doesn't make that shot, we're going home with a loss,'' Rice said. ''He's a senior, and he's been in a lot of big games.''
The Rebels scored the first four points of the second overtime, including a three-point play by Stanback, and led the rest of the way.
''I've got to give UNLV a lot of credit. They were outstanding defensively. That's the best defensive team we've played by far.''
UCSB tied the score 71-71 at the end of regulation when Johnson purposely missed a free throw and 7-foot-3 center Greg Somogyi picked up the rebound and scored.
Johnson scored 12 points in the first half and his 3-pointer gave the Gauchos their largest lead at 27-20. UNLV finished the half on a 7-1 run to trail 28-27.
Moser scored the Rebels' first 11 points of the second half as they took a 38-34 lead. They extended it to 40-34 on a layup by Stanback but consecutive buckets by Johnson triggered a rally by the Gauchos, who went ahead 47-45 on a breakaway layup by T.J. Taylor.
Moser followed with consecutive 3-pointers, and UNLV took its biggest lead at 69-59 on another 3 by Moser with 2 minutes remaining. Johnson scored eight points in UCSB's 12-2 run at the end of regulation.
Nunnally scored 14 points for the Gauchos and Jaime Serna added 13.
Rice was no stranger to upsets in Santa Barbara. The first former UNLV player to be the team's head coach, he was a reserve guard on Jerry Tarkanian's 1990 national championship team that lost 78-70 to the Gauchos, the Rebels' last defeat before a 45-game winning streak.