The UNLV Rebels fended off a near-second-half comeback from the Fresno State men’s basketball team Tuesday night at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas for the 73-61 conference win.
Sophomore forward Christian Wood fueled the Rebels (14-10, 5-6 Mountain West) on both sides of the court with 27 points, 19 rebounds and seven blocks. Guard Rashad Vaughn added 18 in the victory.
The Rebels built a 10-point halftime lead behind consistent 3-point shooting in the first period.
UNLV continued to set the tone in the second period, going on a 13-5 run to lead by 18.
The ‘Dogs (11-13, 6-5 MW) got within reach with just over eight minutes to go in the game, when junior guard Julien Lewis cut the Rebels’ lead to eight with a fast-break layup as a result of a steal.
Wood would continue to shine for the Rebels, scoring eight of his team’s next 10 points to get the UNLV back up to double digits with a few minutes left to help seal the win.
Lewis recorded a team-best 16 points for Fresno State including a making all three 3-point attempts.
Karachi Edo earned his second double-double of the season, with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
Marvelle Harris, the conference’s leading scorer with 17.3 points per game, recorded 12 and six rebounds. Harris’s double-digit performance also helped him move into the No. 20 spot on the school’s all-time scoring list with 1,190 career points.
Fresno State will host the second-place Boise State Broncos (17-6, 7-3 MW) Saturday at 7 p.m.