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Ducks' late rally falls short in 80-69 loss to UNLV

The UNLV Rebels handed the No. 15 Oregon Ducks their first loss of the season on Friday night in Las Vegas.

Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports

In Oregon's first road game of the season, it looked as if the UNLV Runnin' Rebels were going to run away with the game early. UNLV was red hot from beyond the arc, eventually building a 20 point lead early in the second half. Oregon was able to cut that lead down to four points late in the game, but UNLV held off Oregon's late surge to hand the Ducks their first loss of the season in an 80-69 win.

Ike Nwamu led the Rebels with 19 points on 7-of-9 shooting, including 5-of-7 from three-point range. In total, five UNLV players reached double figures in scoring.

For the Ducks, Dwayne Benjamin led all scorers with 21 points off the bench on 8-of-14 shooting and 5-of-8 from beyond the arc. Three of Oregon's five starters reached double figures.

The scary moment of the night was when Tyler Dorsey came down awkwardly on his left leg, and it immediately looked like the type of injury that could end a season. For those of you with a tough stomach, the replay is below. Amazingly enough, Dorsey was able to return to the game, but you can be sure Oregon will be keeping a close eye on him going forward.

1st Half

UNLV got off to a hot start, hitting three shots from beyond the arc to open the game on a 9-2 run. It took the Ducks nearly four minutes to finally get on the board when Tyler Dorsey was able to get an easy layup.

Ben Carter made his mark early, scoring back-to-back points along with a block coming in off the bench. Carter finished the night with 10 points off the bench.

After UNLV's hot start, the Ducks went on a run of their own, scoring seven straight points to tie the game just under midway through the first half. But almost as soon as the Ducks tied things up, UNLV hit back-to-back threes as part of a 10-0 run to take a 25-15 lead.

Oregon managed to make it a 27-23 game, but that's when UNLV went on another big run. A three-pointer from Patrick McCaw put UNLV up 37-25.

Oregon was in the bonus for much of the first half, but it didn't help that the Ducks struggled from the free-throw line, shooting just 9-of-16 in the first half as UNLV led 47-33 at the break.

Ike Nwamu led the charge for UNLV with 14 first half points, which included hitting 4-of-5 shots from beyond the arc. For the Ducks, Tyler Dorsey led the scoring with nine points on 3-of-6 shooting.

UNLV was lethal from three-point range in the first half, hitting eight shots while the Ducks shot just 2-of-8.

2nd Half

UNLV opened the second half the same way they opened the first half, with a shot from beyond the arc. Eventually, UNLV was able to build their lead up to 20 points.

That's when Oregon cut UNLV's lead in half as the Ducks went on a 17-4 run. During the run, Dwayne Benjamin hit a pair of threes while UNLV went cold, going over 10 minutes without a field goal.

Just as Oregon was heating up, Tyler Dorsey went down in a scary moment. Dorsey went up for a loose ball and came down awkwardly on his left leg as it bent in a way a leg should not. Dorsey was helped off the floor and to the locker room. You can watch the replay below, but be warned, it will probably make you cringe a bit.

The play sucked the life out of Oregon, ending their dominant scoring run. UNLV then scored six straight to go back up by nine points with 8:21 left in the game.

Then, in a moment that caught everyone off guard, Tyler Dorsey not only walked back to the bench under his own power, but he actually checked into the game. Moments earlier, people had been sending out thoughts and prayers on Twitter, saying that the season was over and sending "Get well soon" tweets. He just went full Paul Pierce on all of us.

As soon as Dorsey returned, so did the Ducks. Dwayne Benjamin and Dillon Brooks sank a pair of threes, cutting UNLV's lead down to just four points with 3:38 left to play.

That's when the Ducks simply ran out of gas. UNLV went on a 7-0 run capped off by a three-pointer from Ike Nwamu to put the Rebels up 80-69 with 1:30 to go, putting the final nail in Oregon's coffin for the night.