Johnnie Bryant puts in a lay-up against UNLV. (Photo by Jamie Schwaberow)
March 8, 2007
LAS VEGAS (AP) - Kevin Kruger, a fifth-year senior who transferred from Arizona State to play for his father and UNLV head coach Lon this season, scored 21 points and the 25th-ranked Runnin' Rebels celebrated their return to the rankings with an 80-54 quarterfinal win over Utah in the Mountain West Conference tournament Thursday night.
The Rebels (26-6), ranked this week for the first time since the final week of the 1992-93 season, are seeded second behind regular-season champion BYU and are hoping the tournament's return to the Thomas & Mack Center after three years in Denver will help them hoist the trophy on Saturday.
Wendell White and Wink Adams each added 15 points for UNLV, which withstood 26 points and 10 rebounds from Luke Nevill.
The Rebels built a 35-25 halftime lead.
The Utes (11-19) led most of the first half, but after going 8-of-12 from the floor, they made just one of their last 12 shots and never recuperated.