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Mar 24, 2024 11:59 pm

UNLV pulls away from Boston College in NIT 2nd-rounder

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Keylan Boone had 19 points on five 3-pointers and grabbed eight rebounds as UNLV extended its first postseason in 11 years with a 79-70 win over visiting Boston College in Sunday’s second round of the NIT.

The Rebels (21-12) shot 51.7 percent in the second half, clinching a quarterfinal trip to top-seeded Seton Hall.

Dedan Thomas Jr. added 17 points and five assists, while Kalib Boone — who missed UNLV’s first-round win at Princeton (ankle) — had 16 points.

Both Boone brothers also blocked three shots.

Quinten Post had game highs of 22 points and nine rebounds to go with three blocks and three assists for Boston College (20-16). Devin McGlockton had 11 points and five assists.

Boston College shot 46.7 percent and UNLV was at 46.9 percent in the first half, which finished 37-37 after Shane Nowell’s putback dunk for the Rebels with 1:16 left.

Claudell Harris Jr. hit the opening trey of the second half for the visitors, but the teams traded baskets for the two-plus minutes to keep the game tied.

Elijah Strong’s coast-to-coast finish at the rim came off UNLV’s first turnover with 15:12 left. However, Keylan Boone’s triple highlighted a 6-0 run that helped the Rebels to their first second-half lead.

The game tipped Boston College’s way with a Post layup and a three-point play by Jaeden Zackery for a two-point lead at 11:25 before UNLV surged.

Jackie Johnson III’s consecutive baskets started the Rebels’ run. Keylan Boone’s logo three as the shot clock expired and Kalib Boone’s two-hand flush off a Thomas dish underneath were exclamation points, forcing a Boston College timeout in a 63-54 game with 8:02 left.

Post hit the last of the Eagles’ three big answering treys with 4:20 to go, and his skying dunk made it just 70-66. But Justin Webster’s 3-pointer from the right wing two minutes later was the difference-maker.

UNLV made the first big run with seven straight points to break an opening 5-5 tie, including a Keylan Boone turnaround shot and a Kalib Boone bucket as the bookends.

Boston College started to claw back as Post and Zackery scored inside to make it a one-possession game, but the Boones combined for five more points. It wasn’t until the halfway mark that the visitors got back within a point on Strong’s layup.

The 3-point shot fueled an extended 17-6 run that lifted the Eagles by four with 3:35 left before halftime.

–Field Level Media

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