Wink Adams was not having a good shooting game. The UNLV senior guard was 3-for-15 shooting and 0-for-10 on 3-pointers with 3:05 left to play.
That wasn't about to stop him from putting up another shot, let alone two, for the Rebels.
Adams scored 18 points, including two 3-pointers in the last two minutes, as UNLV came back to defeat Colorado State 65-62 in the conference opener for both teams on Saturday.
"Most teammates would be mad if you had missed that many shots, but I was encouraged by them to keep shooting," Adams said. "So those last two I got open and when the first fell I had the confidence to take the second."
Adams, who had four points at the half, sealed the win with two free throws with 2.2 seconds left. Curtis Terry also had 18 for UNLV (12-3, 1-0 Mountain West Conference), winners of five straight.
"Well, occasionally we have to encourage him," UNLV coach Lon Kruger said of Adams. "We want him to be more aggressive and put the ball on the floor and get in the middle of the zone.
"But he's a guy that's willing to take shots, especially tough shots late in the game."
The Rebels have beaten Colorado State 10 consecutive times.
Marcus Walker led Colorado State (6-8, 0-1) with 18 points. Andre McFarland added 14 points for the Rams, who played without 7-foot center Stuart Creason, who is out with an injured right foot.
Colorado State's last two losses have been by 3 points. The Rams lost 73-70 to Colorado on Dec. 22.
"Tonight we felt we had a chance, like we felt we had a chance to beat Colorado, and we let both these games slip away," Colorado State coach Tim Miles said. "That's what's frustrating."
With UNLV trailing 58-57, Adams put the Rebels up 60-58 with 1:51 left to play. Ronnie Aguilar tied it at 60 with a layup, but Adams calmly hit a wide open 3-pointer with a minute left to give UNLV the lead, 63-60.
Adam Nigon hit two free throws to close the Rams to within 63-62, and the Rams had two more chances in the last 27 seconds. But Jesse Woodard and Josh Simmons missed layups on their next two possessions, with Simmons getting too far under the backboard to have a chance to get the ball to the rim.
"Their defense makes it difficult to run the Wizard of Oz or whatever," Miles said. "We had to depend on what we had done the whole game and eventually drive to the basket."
Adams sealed the win with his two free throws.
"We did what we had to in the last two minutes," Kruger said. "We looked like a very young team the prior four minutes before that."
Colorado State held a 57-49 lead with 5:52 left before UNLV's comeback.
Rene Rougeau and Adams gave UNLV a 32-28 lead at the half with baskets in the last eight seconds. Walker had tied the game at 28 with a driving layup.
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