FORT COLLINS, Colo. -- Anthony Marshall walked through a mob of celebrating fans, sat on a courtside table and soaked in the scene.
"I don't have the words to express what just happened," the UNLV junior guard said. "That's something I'm going to remember."
Marshall had seen it a few times before, because for the fourth time in February, fans stormed the court after an upset of the Rebels. This one might have been the most stunning.
A 16-point lead with 16½ minutes remaining was nowhere near enough cushion for 17th-ranked UNLV, which blew another road game and watched its hopes of winning a Mountain West Conference regular-season title all but fade away Wednesday night.
Dorian Green scored 14 of his 16 points in the second half, and Pierce Hornung made several pivotal plays down the stretch as Colorado State pulled off an unlikely comeback to beat the Rebels 66-59 before a rowdy crowd of 8,371 at Moby Arena.
"We've certainly had some difficult losses this year," UNLV coach Dave Rice said. "This is absolutely right at the top."
The Rebels (24-7, 8-5) hit something close to rock bottom with another colossal collapse that further dims their hopes for playing deep into March.
"It's a combination of embarrassed, angry and disappointed," Marshall said. "I really don't know what's going on."
Two weeks and a day after losing an 18-point second-half lead and the game at Texas Christian, UNLV did it again.
It took only 13 minutes, 3 seconds for the Rebels to relinquish a 15-point halftime advantage against the Rams, who went in front for the first time all night, 53-52, on Green's layup and three-point play with 6:57 remaining.
Green, who continued to charge hard to the basket through the heart of the UNLV defense, scored on another layup to put Colorado State up 61-58 with 1:44 to go.
After Rebels center Brice Massamba made the second of two free throws, the Rams' Greg Smith launched an air-ball from 3-point range. Hornung put in an offensive rebound, then raced to the other end to block Marshall's layup attempt.
"We made some huge plays," Hornung said. "I ended up in the right spot a few times. That's what you have to do to win big games down the stretch, you have to make the plays."
UNLV, which built a double-digit lead on hot shooting in the first half, shot 6-for-22, including 1-for-9 on 3-pointers, during a miserable final 20 minutes.
Senior guard Oscar Bellfield, who finished with 17 points, made four 3-pointers and scored 14 to boost the Rebels to a 41-26 halftime lead. They shot 16-for-34 from the field, including 7-for-12 on 3s, in their most impressive half of play on the road during the conference season.
But after Bellfield's fifth 3-pointer put UNLV up 47-31 with 16:28 left, it was downhill from there as momentum snowballed in Colorado State's favor.
Rice said the Rebels "ran out of gas" and called the comeback "very disheartening."
Marshall, who scored nine of his 11 points after halftime, said UNLV lost its focus offensively.
"We controlled the game," Marshall said. "But in the second half, we really relied on jump shots and 3s."
About five minutes before tipoff, UNLV announced that sophomore forward Mike Moser, the team's leading scorer and rebounder, would not start because he missed a study hall meeting that he has since made up. Moser had started the previous 30 games.
Moser made his first 3-pointer before missing his next nine shots and finishing 1-for-10 with five points and two rebounds in 26 minutes.
"Mike has been very good for us all year," Rice said, "and certainly Mike was not at his best tonight."
The Rams (18-10, 7-6) needed the win -- their third at home over a top-25 opponent this season -- to strengthen their NCAA Tournament chances.
"Name the alley, name the fox hole and name the bet," Colorado State coach Tim Miles said. "I'm taking these guys."
Marshall was left to reflect on being on the wrong side of yet another court storming.
"When you've got a big target on your back like we do, it happens," he said. "Things like that shouldn't happen."
Contact reporter Matt Youmans at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-2907.