LAS VEGAS -- Playing without a home court for a couple of weeks, UNLV keeps winning.
Chace Stanback had 16 points and six rebounds to lead the Rebels (No. 19 ESPN/USA Today, No. 20 AP) to a 75-72 victory over Boise State on Wednesday night.
The Rebels (9-0), who opened the game on a 15-0 run, led by 16 points with just over 3 minutes left and hung on for the win.
"We have to do a much better job late in the ballgame," UNLV coach Lon Kruger said. "We can't get sloppy late. Boise State is a real talented team. Coach [Leon] Rice has them playing well."
The game was played at the Orleans Arena because UNLV was kicked out of its home -- the Thomas & Mack Center -- due to the National Rodeo Finals. This was the Rebels' sixth straight game away from its normal home court -- albeit on the other side of the Las Vegas Strip.
Robert Arnold and La'Shard Anderson led the Boise State (6-2) with 18 points each. Arnold had seven rebounds. Daequon Montreal had 15 points and six rebounds for the Broncos, who trailed 22-4 with 8:43 left until halftime.
This was the second straight game the Rebels jumped to a quick start. UNLV led 22-2 in its last game, a win at Nevada last Saturday.
Boise State got within 37-27 with 2:14 until halftime, but the Rebels scored the last four points. In the second half, Boise State came closest after a jumper by Anderson that cut it to 73-71 with 23 seconds left, but Willis made two free throws and the Broncos only managed a free throw by Montreal on its final possession.
"It was very disappointing. We were making a lot of mistakes," Stanback said of the Rebels' late performance. "We made a lot of mental errors and we never like to finish a game like that."
The Rebels' second-half lead stayed between eight and 16 points until the late 19-6 run by the Broncos.
UNLV travels to No. 24 Louisville (7-0) on Saturday. This is the fourth straight year the teams will square off. UNLV has won the last two, including two years ago at Louisville.
The Cardinals defeated San Francisco in Louisville, 61-35 on Wednesday night.
"We're going into a tough place to play against a team that is playing well and undefeated," Kruger said. "It will be a hostile environment and big challenge. They're off to a terrific start. (Coach Rick Pitino's) teams play well and always play hard."
After the 15-0 start to the contest, the Rebels led 22-4. Boise State got it to 37-27 with 2:14 until halftime, but the Rebels scored the session's last four points.
"We wanted to keep fighting and be aggressive," Rice said. "We play well with chaos. UNLV is a pressure and chaotic team. They're going to be a team with runs. We had a pathetic start. ... Our guys kept fighting. UNLV was a hard situation (with a huge lead)."
Next season, the teams will be conference foes as the Broncos move from the Western Athletic Conference to the Mountain West.
"I don't want to think about next year," Rice said. "We have to get through this year. I'll watch the Mountain West from afar."
The Rebels 9-0 start is their best since 1990-91, when they began 34-0 before losing to Duke in the national semifinals.
"That's a positive for us," Stanback said of the unbeaten record. "It's nice to be undefeated, but we still have to work."
This was the fourth consecutive year the Rebels played at the Orleans Arena for a game due to the rodeo. This was the start of a three-game road trip for the Broncos. They travel to Drake on Monday and Utah next Friday.
This was only the third time the teams met. The previous times were in postseason. In 2004 in Boise, the Broncos won in the NIT's first round. In 1976, the Rebels won an NCAA tournament first-round game.
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