LAS VEGAS (AP) Great Osobor made two free throws with 8.4 seconds left to complete a five-point play for No. 20 Utah State's only lead of the game Saturday and allow the Aggies to escape with an 87-86 victory over UNLV.

UNLV's Luis Rodriguez made two free throws for an 86-82 lead with 14.3 seconds remaining for an apparent two-possession lead. But Darius Brown II made a 3-pointer and UNLV’s Kalib Boone was called for a foul away from the ball, sending Osobor to the line. He missed what would've been a game-tying layup on the previous possession.

But then Osobor calmly made both free throws for the winning points.

“It shows he's maturing,” Utah State coach Danny Sprinkle said. “A year ago, two years ago, I don't know if he would've done that. He's grown physically, spiritually, mentally, all of it.”

Osobor said a timeout by UNLV before his free throws “helped me calm down.”

“When I was at the line, Coach Sprinkle was like, ‘You’re built for this,'” Osobor said. “Everyone was like, ‘Go win this one.’ I calmed down and I prayed real quick.”

After Osobor made the foul shots, UNLV's Dedan Thomas Jr. missed a jumper at the buzzer.

“You're going to win most of those games," UNLV coach Kevin Kruger said. "There's nothing to say after a game like that. There's nothing you can tell a player.”

Osobor had 24 points and 14 rebounds for the Aggies (16-1, 4-0 Mountain West), who extended their winning streak to 15 games, the longest active one in the nation. Ian Martinez also scored 24 points.

Rodriguez led UNLV (8-7, 1-2) with 23 points and nine rebounds, and Boone scored 18 points.

UNLV took the lead right away, going ahead as much as 58-45 early in the second half, but the Aggies didn't go away. They went on a 10-2 run to get to within 64-61 midway through the half and set the stage for a tense finish.

Brown made a 3-pointer and Mason Falslev a layup to bring Utah State to within 83-82 with 31 seconds left. UNLV's Thomas made one of two free throws with 27 seconds remaining to extend the lead to two points.

That lead became four points with 14.3 seconds left, the game seemingly all but over.

“It felt like they dominated the first 39 minutes and 51 seconds,” Sprinkle said. “I kept looking up, ‘I can't believe we're down five. I can't believe we're down six.' I couldn't believe we were down seven at halftime. That could've very easily been a 20-point game at halftime the way they were playing and shooting the basketball."


Utah State: Osobor entered the game averaging 18.6 points and 9.4 rebounds, but was held to four points and two rebounds in the first half. He responded over the final 20 minutes by totaling 20 points and 12 rebounds, that production giving the Aggies a chance to win at the end on his two free throws.

UNLV: The Rebels should've walked out of their arena with their second victory over a ranked opponent. They routed then-No. 8 Creighton 79-64 on Dec. 13 and entered Saturday with four victories in five games. This loss could define UNLV's season by either galvanizing the team or sending it on a downward spiral.


Utah State: At New Mexico on Tuesday.

UNLV: At Boise State on Tuesday


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