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UNLV Gets Arizona on the Run : College basketball: Runnin Rebels set the pace and Wildcats can't keep up in 95-87 setback.

February 19, 1990| From Associated Press and

LAS VEGAS — Nevada Las Vegas went to its fast break and made fast work of Arizona.

Larry Johnson scored 26 points and the seventh-ranked Runnin' Rebels surged past the 20th-ranked Wildcats, 95-87, in a non-conference game Sunday.

"When we were running, we were beautiful," UNLV Coach Jerry Tarkanian said. "That's one of our strengths. Our big people can run."

UNLV (22-4) used a 12-4 spurt to pull away from a 44-41 halftime lead and hand the Wildcats (17-5) their sixth loss in six tries at Las Vegas.

Johnson had 17 of his points in the second half as UNLV opened up a 15-point lead before Arizona rallied in the final minutes.

"Both teams played with a lot of heart," Tarkanian said. "I thought several times we would bust it open, but then (Matt) Muehlbach would hit a couple of three-pointers."

Johnson, who played with three fouls in the second half, hit three consecutive baskets after Arizona cut the lead to 77-70 with five minutes left in the game.

"I think that if he came out, Larry Johnson would be the number one pick in the pro draft," said Arizona Coach Lute Olson. "I can't imagine a better power forward."

UNLV never trailed, but was not able to shake Arizona, which managed to draw as close as 90-84 with 36 seconds left.

It was the eighth consecutive win for UNLV, all in the space of the past 18 days. Arizona lost for the fifth time in 10 games on the road.

"I told our team that this game was a measuring stick because we were going into a tough place to play against a good team," Olson said. "If we were playing at our place. I think maybe we could turn it around."

The game was a physical one, with Johnson, UNLV center, David Butler and Arizona center Ed Stokes fouling out in the second half. Two other Wildcat big men, Sean Rooks and Brian Williams, played the final seven minutes with four fouls apiece.

Rooks scored 23 points for Arizona, while Jud Buechler had 21.

Butler added 19 for UNLV while Stacey Augmon and Greg Anthony had 16 apiece.

UNLA was leading, 41-32, when Johnson picked up his third foul with three minutes left in the half, and the Wildcats took advantage of his absence by outscoring the Rebels, 9-3, to trail by only three at halftime.

Johnson went to the bench when he picked up his third foul, but came back for the start of the second half and didn't pick up another foul until 2:14 was left in the game. He quickly picked up his fifth foul with 1:20 left.

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