UNLV notched one of its biggest win of the season on the road Wednesday night, using 20 points, nine rebounds, and five assists from guard Anthony Marshall to secure an 82-75 victory over San Diego State at Viejas Arena in San Diego, Calif.
Coach Dave Rice decision to use a smaller lineup down the stretch for UNLV, opting to sit forwards Mike Moser and Anthony Bennett in favor of a more guard-oriented set, proved to be key.
Moser, after scoring nine points in the first half, was a non-factor in the second half. He did not score in the second half, which forced the scoring to the Rebel backcourt, mainly Marshall.
Freshman Katin Reinhardt added nine points and guard Bryce Dejean-Jones had 14.
With Moser and Bennett on the bench, transfer Khem Birch had to shoulder the responsibilities on the interior and he responded. He had 12 points and four rebounds, three of which came on the offensive glass.
His offensive rebound and put-back layup with 0:25 remaining extended the UNLV lead to two possessions and ultimately sealed the road win.
But Wednesday night was often a game of runs.
After pushing the lead to as much as 10 points with 16:47 remaining in the second half, San Diego State ripped off a 12-0 to grab the lead by three.
In that run, the Aztecs got the ball to the rim and converted, while the UNLV offense stalled and was unable finish at the basket.
Marshall’s 20 points kept UNLV afloat on Wednesday night, including a number of gutsy drives to the basket and points in key situations. His five points over a two-minute stretch extended the UNLV lead to three with 4:08 to play, 73-70.
Jamaal Franklin was stellar for San Diego State, scoring 27 points. The Aztecs as a team shot just 38.8 percent from the floor.