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UNLV holds off Wyoming 71-67

Coming off the bench, Bryce Dejean-Jones and Roscoe Smith combined for 40 points to lift the Runnin' Rebels past Wyoming and advance to face No. 8 San Diego State Friday night in the MW Tournament Semifinals.

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

It was a close game throughout and the Cowboys played with a lot of effort, but UNLV was ultimately able to hold off a late Wyoming rally and come away with a hard fought victory on their home court.

Junior guard Deville Smith was the only UNLV starter in double figures. He finished the night with 15 points, going 4 of 5 from the field and 3 of 5 from three point range. His production has been key for the Rebels this season and with the other 4 UNLV starters combining for 16 points, the Rebels needed all the help they could get on the offensive end.

The Runnin' Rebels built a 13 point lead following two runs after halftime to create some separation from the Cowboys. But Wyoming refused to give in. Making one last rally in the final 1:40, Jerron Granberry completed a three-point play to reduce the deficit to 66-65 with 23 seconds remaining.

After the inbound pass, Deville Smith was fouled immediately and he managed to do something that has been a major inconsistency with UNLV this season. He made both his free throws.

Wyoming guard Nathan Sobey quickly put up a three point jumper on the other end, but his shot was off and Khem Birch was there to grab the rebound for the Runnin' Rebels.

Josh Adams, who lead the Cowboys with 24 points and 7 rebounds then fouled Birch. And what do you know? He made both his free throws to put the Rebels up 70-65.

After Josh Adams got off a jumper with 11 seconds remaining, Kevin Olekaibe went 1 of 2 from the line and that was ultimately enough for UNLV to escape with a 71-67 victory.

UNLV vs. San Diego State can be seen Friday night at 9:00 PM ET. On CBS Sports Network.

It will be the first time UNLV has faced San Diego State in the Mountain West Tournament since the Aztecs defeated the Runnin' Rebels 74-72 in the 2011 Semifinals at the Thomas and Mack Center.