CS Fullerton Falls Short of UNLV

Times Staff Writer

Of all times for Cal State Fullerton to beat Nevada Las Vegas, this would have been one of the most improbable.

Fullerton, which had lost four straight games, was off to a 4-9 start.

But with 12 seconds left in Wednesday night's Pacific Coast Athletic Assn. basketball game, the Titans had a chance to beat UNLV for only the third time in 19 tries.

Trailing, 58-57, Fullerton inbounded the ball to guard Eugene Jackson, who drove downcourt and passed off to Henry Turner, whose 15-foot jump shot bounded off the rim with six seconds left.

In a scramble, the ball went out of bounds on the sideline, and the Rebels were awarded possession.

UNLV's Clint Rossum, who was fouled by Richard Morton, made two free throws with three seconds remaining. Karl James intercepted a Fullerton pass and hit a three-pointer at the buzzer, giving the Rebels a 63-57 victory before a sellout crowd of 4,113 at Titan Gym.

"I don't feel real good," UNLV Coach Jerry Tarkanian said.

Fullerton had stayed close despite the fact that Morton, who leads the Titans with a 24.7 scoring average, was held to 6 points.

Jarvis Basnight, who averages 16.2 points for UNLV, scored only 9, all in the second half.

Fullerton Coach George McQuarn said the Titans should have won once they got the ball with 12 seconds left.

"I really believe when I see the film I will see that Eugene Jackson could have taken it all the way for the basket or a foul," he said. "Eugene gave it to Henry, who missed a 15-foot jumper."

Tarkanian, who once had McQuarn as an assistant at UNLV, praised the Titans.

"Believe me when I tell you Fullerton is not going to lose a lot more," he said.

Fullerton slipped to 0-5 in the PCAA.

UNLV (13-1 overall, 4-1 in the conference), stretched a five-point halftime lead to eight, and led, 40-32, five minutes into the second half.

But Fullerton battled back and last held a lead at 55-54 with 2:08 remaining.

UNLV is ranked 13th in the nation but has struggled in four of its five Pacific Coast Athletic Assn. games.

The Rebels beat New Mexico State by five points, Cal State Long Beach by three and lost to UC Santa Barbara. Only against UC Irvine did they win easily.

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