UNLV’s Katin Reinhardt attempts a jump shot over Colorado State’s Dorian Green in the Runnin’ Rebels’ 61-59 win on Wednesday. DANIEL WARD/THE REBEL YELL

In the dark shadows of the glitzy, glamorous teams of the Mountain West Conference (MWC) is a dangerous Colorado State team that is vastly overlooked.

The Rams aren’t New Mexico or San Diego State.

They may not be the sexiest of opponents, but they know how to ball. They came into the game as the No. 22 team in the country, but haven’t gotten the attention the other MWC schools have gotten.

The Rams gave the Rebels all they could handle as they came at UNLV with intense, physical play all night long.

Once again, it was a tale of two halves for the Runnin’ Rebels. They held Colorado State to just 30 percent from the field and a measly 11 percent from three-point range in the first half. They outrebounded the Rams 20-11.

They shot 48 percent from the floor while making six shots from behind the arc to head into halftime with a 32-21 lead.

All of this while Anthony Bennett only managed two points.

But you see, the Rebels have a bad habit of taking their foot off the accelerator in the second half after they’ve established a comfortable lead.

And just like it’s gone all season long, UNLV found itself scrambling in the second half after letting their opponent get right back in the game.

Colorado State opened up the second half by going on a 12-4 run to cut UNLV’s lead to just three.

The Rams then tied it up at 40 apiece just seven minutes into the half and the once-ecstatic Thomas & Mack crowd became frustrated.

Actually, frustrated is putting it delicately, considering several fans were shouting expletives at the officials as parents desperately covered the ears of their children.

I even heard one angry, middle-aged gentleman call the referee a communist.

Sure, let’s blame it on the communists when the calls don’t go our way.

But political affiliations aside, UNLV once again got into foul trouble as both Bryce Dejean-Jones and Bennett had four fouls with 10 minutes still remaining in the game.

The Rams capitalized on this opportunity and picked apart the Rebels’ interior defense by driving to the lane on every possession.

UNLV began to build its lead once again, but the tenacious Rams wouldn’t go away.

Colorado State finally took the lead with 3:20 left, and the T&M faithful were bewildered after this little-known basketball school from Fort Collins, Colo. crawled back to take the lead over the powerhouse Runnin’ Rebels.

The teams exchanged leads as the game drew to an end, but it was the left-handed stroke of Anthony Marshall that saved the day for UNLV.

With the game tied at 59 apiece and 30 seconds remaining, Marshall dribbled the ball up the court and held it until he found his shot: an 18-foot jumper that left Marshall’s left hand and descended through the twine to give UNLV a 61-59 lead with nine seconds remaining.

Despite having two timeouts, Colorado State ran the ball up the court and found Dorian Green wide-open from three-point land, only to see his shot rattle out as the final buzzer sounded.

The Rebels escaped with their 20th win of the season over a very worthy opponent; an opponent that came into Sin City unafraid.

It wasn’t pretty, but this win was huge.

Huge.