Air Force had its shot on the road and couldn’t finish.
The Falcons led by a point in the final minute but watched UNLV hit six free throws in the final 26 seconds to secure a 77-72 victory in a late game Tuesday night in Las Vegas.
Air Force shot 50.8 percent from the field, had 25 points from Lavelle Scottie and 17 points, 16 rebounds from Ryan Swan. But it gave up 7-of-14 second-half 3-pointers and saw its 15 turnovers blow up into a 21-10 edge in points off turnovers for UNLV.
The loss prevents the Falcons (10-14, 5-7 Mountain West) from converting just their second season sweep of UNLV and first since 2006.
Air Force led 40-36 at halftime before falling behind by seven points in the final minutes. Then, an 8-0 run sparked by 3-pointers from A.J. Walker (14 points) and Chris Joyce (11 points) put the Falcons back in front at 72-71.
The game-changing play came on a missed 3-pointer by UNLV’s Kris Clyburn with 27 seconds left. The rebound came off long, and Joyce fouled Noah Robotham in the scramble for the ball.
Robotham hit both free throws, putting the Runnin’ Rebels (13-11, 7-5) back in the lead. Walker then missed a contested layup, followed by two UNLV free throws, and Caleb Morris tried to draw a foul with a desperation 3-point heave with 2 seconds left and failed.
Amauri Hardy led UNLV with 24 points.
Air Force has now lost seven in a row at UNLV.