Las Vegas, Nev. --- Terrell Brown sliced through traffic and made a contested jumper with 13.1 seconds left lifting San José State to its fourth straight win, 76-74 over UNLV in Mountain West play.
It's the first time since 1996 that SJSU (13-10, 6-6 MW) has won four straight conference games and Saturday's victory completes the first season sweep of UNLV (10-16, 3-10 MW) since the 1993-94 season.
UNLV's Tyrell Green, who led the game with 28 points, set up the drama by hitting a three to tie the game, 74-74, with 39.5 seconds remaining. Then Brown dribbled out the Spartans' final possession before breaking to the rim down the left side of the key with 16 seconds left on the game clock.
After the freshman's 5-foot jumper banked in for the two-point lead, UNLV charged up the floor and Jovan Mooring drove on Brandon Mitchell for a potential game-tying layup, which was off and the final buzzer sounded.
While Brown put in the dagger, there were many Spartans that had a finger print on the fourth straight win.
Jaycee Hillsman put in a career-high tying 16 points, making a three and a transition dunk that helped SJSU get out to a 7-0 lead to begin the game. Hillsman got three points the traditional way to put SJSU ahead 63-56 with 8:09 left in the second half. A bit later he put the Spartans up 70-67 with a layup in traffic.
Cody Schwartz pitched in with a pair of critical 3-pointers in the second period. Up three, 57-54, San José State was trapped at midcourt, but Welage fired to an open Schwartz who banged the three from the left corner to make it 60-54 Spartans with 9:16 left. He hit another one from nearly the same spot less than two minutes later that gave SJSU its largest lead, 66-58, at the 7:24 mark.
Jalen James played just 13 minutes but he was perfect, hitting his only shot from the floor - a straight-away three - and all four of his free throws. Both times he went to the line James sank both attempts to help the Spartans maintain a five-point lead. He did it once with 3:02 left, and again with 2:25 remaining.
Then there were the usual suspects in Brandon Clarke and Ryan Welage, who finished with 13 and 12 points respectively. While it was a quiet night for Clarke, he was the driving force behind a 9-2 Spartans run during which he converted on an and-1, and made a transition layup. Welage got that run started with 14:21 on the clock in the second period with a 3-pointer. His basket tied the game, 46-46, and over the next 3:20 SJSU built a seven-point lead. Isaac Thornton capped off the run with desperation swish from way downtown before the shot clock expired.
San José State finished the game shooting 52.8 percent (28-53), while the Rebels shot 41.1 percent (23-56). The two teams made the same amount of threes (7), but UNLV attempted seven more shots from downtown.
After nine first-half turnovers led to 13 UNLV points, the Spartans had just four turnovers in the second half. UNLV grabbed 17 offensive rebounds in the game and finished with 22 second-chance points. SJSU was outdueled on the boards 38-29 for the game.
Mooring scored 18 points and Christian Jones finished with 11 points to round out the double-figure scorers for UNLV.
The Spartans return to action on Wednesday, February 15, when they travel to Fresno State for a 7:00 p.m. (PT) game.