No. 20 Utah St. tops UNLV, extends nation-best streak to 15

No. 20 Utah State came from behind to extend the nation’s best winning streak to 15 with a hard-fought 87-86 victory over host UNLV on Saturday afternoon in Las Vegas.

Utah State is now 16-1 overall and 4-0 in the Mountain West Conference. UNLV (8-7, 1-2) had won three of its last four games against ranked opponents dating to last season.

Trailing by four, Utah State’s Darius Brown II hit a 3-pointer from the right wing with eight seconds left, and Great Osobor made a pair of free throws after an off-the-ball foul to seal the win.

Osobor converted a three-point play with 3:14 left to bring Utah State back within 78-77. But UNLV answered on Keylan Boone’s 3-pointer from the top of the arc for an 81-77 lead and extended the lead on a pair of free throws from Kalib Boone.

Utah State’s Osobor and Ian Martinez each scored 24 points to lead all scorers. Brown added 10 for the Aggies.

For UNLV, Luis Rodriguez had a career-high 23 points while Kalib Boone added 18. Rob Whaley Jr. had 11 for the Runnin’ Rebels, who got 10 apiece from Keynan Boone and Dedan Thomas Jr.

Utah State didn’t score until nearly three minutes were gone in the contest and fell behind by 11, at 30-19, its largest deficit with 10:10 left in the half.

The Aggies never led in the entire first half as leading scorer Osobor (18.6 points per game) was held to just four points in the half.

Rodriguez was 5-for-5 from the field for 13 first-half points, and UNLV made six threes in 11 attempts, matching their per-game average for threes in the half.

UNLV leads the series between the schools 35-14 since 1950, with most of those wins coming in the program’s national powerhouse days under coach Jerry Tarkanian from 1973-92.