UNLV rallies from 12 down to defeat No. 21 Dayton 60-52

Sports

LAS VEGAS (AP) — EJ Harkless scored 24 points to help rally UNLV from a 12-point deficit to beat No. 21 Dayton 60-52 on Tuesday night.

This was UNLV’s first nonconference victory over a ranked opponent at home since defeating No. 3 Arizona 71-67 on Dec. 23, 2014.

The Rebels (3-0) trailed 37-25 about four minutes into the second half before going on an 11-point run. They took the lead for good on Keshon Gilbert’s 3-pointer with 7:30 left, and Harkless added another 3 with 7:03 remaining for a 50-44 advantage.

Those two were the only Rebels in double figures. Gilbert scored 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting, Harkless made 9 of 19 shots.

UNLV also did the job defensively, particularly on Dayton post player DaRon Holmes. He was coming off a 20-point, seven-rebound, five-block performance against SMU. But the Flyers (2-1) had trouble getting him the ball, and Holmes finished with two points on five shots to go with six rebounds.

Kobe Elvis led the Flyers with 16 points, and Mike Sharavjamts scored 14.

Dayton again without point guard Malachi Smith. He has missed the first three games with an ankle injury, and his return is uncertain.

Another player, Toumani Camara, had ice on his left knee. He averaged 14.5 points through the first two games, and had four points and six rebounds in the first half against UNLV (2-1).

BIG PICTURE

Dayton: This loss damages the Flyers’ NCAA Tournament resume. Dayton has not appeared in the tournament in six years, and has a veteran team built to make it to March. The trip to the Bahamas next week will be telling.

UNLV: The rebuild continues for the Rebels, who haven’t appeared in the NCAA Tournament since 2013, but this victory is a big step forward for second-year coach Kevin Kruger. He still has a lot of work to do to put UNLV in position for the postseason, but this is a good start.

NEARING 300

Dayton coach Anthony Grant remains three victories away from 300 career wins, which would make him the 12th active Black coach to reach that figure. The earliest Grant, who graduated from Dayton, would reach that number would be Nov. 24 against Kansas or North Caroline State in the Battle 4 Atlantis. His record is 297-163.

UP NEXT

Dayton: The Flyers return home to play Robert Morris on Saturday before heading off to the Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas.

UNLV: Hosts High Point on Friday.

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