LAS VEGAS -- Anthony Marshall helped UNLV right the ship after two tough losses.
He scored a career high 17 points to lead UNLV over Southern Utah 72-50 Saturday night.
"I thought he did a real good job tonight," Rebels coach Lon Kruger said. "He was finishing plays. I thought his balance was good. I thought he looked really sharp."
Freshman forward Carlos Lopez had season-highs of 12 points and 11 rebounds for UNLV (10-2), which had lost its previous two. The Rebels, who never trailed, also won despite shooting 3 of 16 from 3-point range.
Matt Hodgson led Southern Utah (3-8) with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Teammate Jordan Weirick added 10 points. The Thunderbirds were 2 of 11 from 3-point range and made 14 of 29 free throws.
Last December, the Rebels beat the Thunderbirds, 77-59 in Cedar City, Utah. UNLV now has won 19 straight against the Thunderbirds, who play in the Summit League.
"[UNLV is] a much better team than they were last year," Southern Utah assistant coach Ron Carling said. "They have better team chemistry. Everyone was athletic. They denied the ball well. We knew it was going to be tough."
UNLV, which never trailed, went on a 21-3 run that made it 37-13 shortly before letting Southern Utah close out the first half with five straight points.
"Everyone got into the flow," Marshall said. "We got a good game out of Carlos tonight. Tonight's game was big for us. I felt we played good basketball."
The Rebels' next test is at No. 6 Kansas State this Tuesday in Kansas City, Mo. Kansas State lost at Florida 57-44 on Saturday.
The Rebels had lost at Louisville (No. 20 ESPN/USA Today, No. 21 AP) a week ago, and against UC Santa Barbara at home three days earlier. Against the Gauchos, the Rebels only shot 29 percent from the field. They also blew a nine-point second half lead at Louisville.
"Kansas State is a real good team," said Kruger, who played and coached there. "They're a real physical team. They bang you around a lot."
Marshall and the Rebels lost to Kansas State last December in Las Vegas, 95-80.
"It was a pretty tough game last year and we expect the same this year," Marshall said. "We believe [we can beat them]. They're a good ball club. We can't have costly turnovers that will allow the crowd to get into the game. We have to take the crowd out."
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