Anthony Jones scored 28 points, and 10th-ranked Nevada Las Vegas wore down New Mexico State, 88-79, Thursday night at Las Cruces, N.M., to claim sole possession of first place in the Pacific Coast Athletic Assn.
The victory was the ninth straight for the Rebels (18-2 overall, 7-0 in the PCAA).
New Mexico State (11-4, 5-1), playing before 13,709 fans--the largest crowd in the school's history--led much of the game but finally succumbed to the three-point field goal shooting of Jones and Fred Banks.
Banks hit five three-pointers, including three in a row in the second half when the Rebels wiped out a 66-59 New Mexico State lead. The Rebels converted a trio of Aggie turnovers into points and went on a 13-2 tear during the next 3 1/2 minutes for a 78-72 lead with 4:29 left.
Banks had 21 points, and Armon Gilliam added 16.
New Mexico State, which had its seven-game winning streak snapped, got 25 points from Gilbert Wilburn and 21 points and 10 rebounds from Kenny Travis.