Rougeau vows to keep his cool with refs

UNLV senior Rene Rougeau has one regret, and it was an act that might have made the difference between winning and losing. Because of it, he vows to “stop whining” to officials.

Rougeau drew a technical and fouled out with 4:28 remaining in the second half of the Rebels’ 73-69 overtime loss at New Mexico on Saturday.

Rougeau was called for his fourth personal foul while jumping with the Lobos’ Tony Danridge for a rebound. Rougeau argued the call — which was a dubious one — and quickly got hit with a technical.

New Mexico made four free throws to take a 56-53 lead, and Rougeau could only watch as the game slipped away from UNLV.

“I definitely have got to play a lot smarter, because I hurt the team with that,” Rougeau, who had 12 points and 13 rebounds, said Monday. “Frustration just took over for me. Being a senior, I’ve got to lead by example.

“You’re on the road, and that’s how it’s going to go sometimes, so you can’t worry about the refs at all. I’ve got to work on that. I get a bit too passionate sometimes, but that’s how it is when every game is important to us.”

• NO OVERTIME PAY — The Rebels are coming off back-to-back overtime losses — to San Diego State and New Mexico — for the first time in the program’s 51-year history.

It’s also a first for Lon Kruger in his 23 years as a college head coach.

“That’s a tough thing,” Kruger said. “But these guys are resilient. They’re disappointed, but they’re also anxious to get back and play again.”

• HILL RETURNS — UNLV assistant coach Lew Hill was released from Sunrise Hospital on Friday and returned to practice Monday. Hill, hospitalized after the Feb. 3 home loss to San Diego State, said he experienced bad chest pains and shortness of breath.

“I’m just a little weak, but I’m getting better,” Hill said. “It’s not my heart, so that’s good. It’s nothing major.”

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