BOISE, Idaho (AP) - Anthony Drmic scored 21 points, James Webb III posted his 11th double-double of the season before leaving with an injury and Boise State toppled UNLV 81-69 on Tuesday night.
Webb finished with 17 points and 12 rebounds for the Broncos (18-10, 9-6 Mountain West), who managed 20 offensive rebounds and 23 second-chance points. Webb got tangled with a UNLV defender with 4:30 left and was taken to the locker room. He is scheduled to have an MRI on Wednesday.
“We’re just keeping our fingers crossed,” Boise State coach Leon Rice said. “He’s a rather important piece of the puzzle.”
Webb had seven of the Broncos’ 20 offensive rebounds, which proved to sink a shorthanded UNLV (16-13, 7-9) team that dressed only six scholarship players because of injuries.
“Rebounding is our main No. 1 concern,” UNLV interim coach Todd Simon said. “We’ve got five guards out there and we have to a gang-rebounding mentality. With their length, they were able to go over us. They got their hands on a lot of balls and tipped some back. James Webb is a dynamic athlete.”
Drmic scored 13 points after halftime, including eight in a row to help the Boise State build a double-digit lead midway through the second half that never got back to single digits.
It was the second game in a row that Drmic led the Broncos in scoring. The fifth-year senior is finally starting to look like the player who led the team in scoring his first three seasons. But an injury that knocked him out last season has been slow to heal.
“I’m seeing a little more bounce in his step, and that makes me happy,” Rice said. “He’s a kid who has given his heart and soul to this team, program and fans. It always crushed me that he was playing at 50 percent or wherever he was. Now we’re seeing a little bit of the old Anthony.”
UNLV was led by Derrick Jones Jr.’s 25 points. The Runnin’ Rebels went cold from 3-point range in the second half, shooting just 18.2 percent. They missed eight 3-pointers in a row after starting 7 for 11.
Six players logged all but five minutes for UNLV.
“They battled as much as they could,” Simon said. “At times we looked a step slow.”
Mikey Thompson added 20 points for Boise State.
The Broncos had a 19-14 lead only to see UNLV make seven consecutive shots - including four 3-pointers - to take a 34-26 lead with 3:49 left. Boise State closed the first half on a 9-0 run to lead 35-34
After Jordan Cornish made a 3-pointer to open the half, the Rebels went cold and Boise State earned the split of the season series.
Ike Nwamu and Jerome Seagears scored 13 points apiece for UNLV.
UNLV: Forward Ben Carter (knee), forward Stephen Zimmerman (knee) and Dwayne Morgan (shoulder) all missed Tuesday’s game with injuries. . Derrick Jones, who entered the game shooting 52.8 percent from the foul line, made his first 11 attempts and finished 11 of 12.
Boise State: Anthony Drmic moved up to No. 6 on the Mountain West all-time scoring list, passing UNLV’s Wink Adams. Drmic now has 1,887 career points and needs 58 to become Boise State’s all-time leading scorer. He currently ranks fourth in school history. Tanoka Beard (1,944) is the school’s all-time leader.
Two of the officials - David Hall and Verne Harris - that worked Tuesday’s game were on the crew that overturned a Boise State 3-pointer at the buzzer in overtime earlier this month at Colorado State. It was a basket that the conference later determined should have counted. Fans held signs of the duo wearing Colorado State jerseys that arena security confiscated moments after they were posted on social media.
Boise State visits San Diego State on Saturday.
UNLV hosts Wyoming on Saturday.
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