LAS VEGAS — UNLV nearly let a big lead fritter away against Louisville.
Oscar Bellfield scored 17 points, Tre’Von Willis added 16 and the Runnin’ Rebels held on for a 76-71 win over the No. 16 Cardinals on Saturday, a game the Mountain West upstarts led by 19 points in the second half.
The Cardinals (4-1) used a 30-11 run to overcome the 53-34 deficit with 14:05 remaining, tying the score at 64-64 on Rakeem Buckles’ basket with 4:24 left. Bellfield answered with six straight points, and the Runnin’ Rebels (5-0) managed to hang on in a game they never trailed.
Buckles scored eight of his 10 points during Louisville’s tying run. He also finished with 11 rebounds, while Edgar Sosa had 18 points and Samardo Samuels 13.
“That was a game that showed a lot about our team,” UNLV coach Lon Kruger said. “You see a lot of pressure from (Rick) Pitino teams. … Our team has been very unselfish. Our depth is huge — it has already paid us dividends.”
The Cardinals were coming off a four-game sweep in the Hall of Fame showcase, including a 96-66 rout of Arkansas. But they were unimpressive in a 69-56 win over East Tennessee State and a 90-81 victory over Morgan State, and were stung again by the Runnin’ Rebels. UNLV went into Freedom Hall and won 56-55 last season. Before that, Louisville had won four straight in the series dating to 1993.
“We knew it would be a tough game, but we knew it would make us a better team in the end,” Pitino said.
No. 2 Michigan St. 106, Massachusetts 68
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — Tom Izzo won his 341st game at Michigan State, setting the school record for victories when his Spartans (5-1) demolished the Minutemen (2-4).
No. 4 Villanova 81, LaSalle 63
VILLANOVA, Pa. — Antonio Pena and Scottie Reynolds scored 14 points each as the Wildcats (6-0) beat the Explorers (3-2).
No. 6 Purdue 64, Central Michigan 38
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Robbie Hummel had 11 points and 11 rebounds and the Boilermakers (5-0) beat the Chippewas (2-4).
No. 17 Ohio State 110, St. Francis (Pa.) 47
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Jon Diebler hit five 3-pointers to get the Buckeyes (5-1) off to a fast start in their rout of the Red Flash (1-5).
No. 18 Georgetown 97, Lafayette 64
WASHINGTON — Jason Clark had a career-high 19 points, freshman Hollis Thompson added 16 and the Hoyas (4-0) put six players in double figures scoring against the Leopards (4-2).
Bradley 72, No. 20 Illinois 68
LAS VEGAS — Andrew Warren scored 16 points, including a go-ahead 3-pointer with 30 seconds to play, as the Braves (4-2) beat the Illini (4-2).
No. 23 Notre Dame 64, Saint Louis 52
CHICAGO — Luke Harangody scored 14 of his 18 points in the second half as the Fighting Irish (6-1) beat the Billikens (4-2).
No. 25 Oklahoma 81, Nicholls St. 60
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Cade Davis scored 18 points and the Sooners (3-3) ended a three-game skid with a victory over the Colonels (0-8).
Wofford 84, Seattle U. 83
LAS VEGAS, Nev. — Charles Garcia scored 41 points for the Redhawks (4-3), who lost to the Terriers (4-3) on two free throws with 12 seconds remaining.
Seattle Pacific 65, Chico St. 44
CHICO, Calif. — Rafael Moreira scored 23 points to lead the Falcons (4-0) over the Wildcats (1-1).
Western Washington 70, Grand Canyon 55
BELLINGHAM — Forward Derrick Webb had 19 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Vikings (7-1) over the Antelopes (2-7)
Idaho 76, Eastern Washington 54
MOSCOW, Idaho — Glen Dean scored 14 points for the Eagles (2-4) against the Vandals (4-1).
William & Mary 69, Seattle U women 58
SEATTLE — Ashley Brown scored 17 points for the Redhawks (0-7) in their loss to the Tribe (4-2).
Western Washington women 75, Lewis-Clark St. 43
BELLINGHAM — Guard Amanda Dunbar, a Marysville-Pilchuck High alum, scored a game-high 22 points to lead the Vikings (4-0) over the Warriors (7-2).