Boise State set a season-high with 18 turnovers in an 87-77 loss, an abnormal showing for a team that entered the game 28th nationally, yielding only 10.9 turnovers per game.
The Broncos trailed for the last 9:51 of the game after a Patrick McCaw 3-pointer made it 55-53. Boise State junior forward James Webb III's putback dunk with 4:55 remaining cut the Rebels' lead to one, 66-65, but the home team responded with a 7-0 run.
Senior guard Mikey Thompson led the Broncos with 19 points.
Halftime: Boise State finished the first half with plenty of defensive momentum, holding the UNLV Rebels to one field goal in the last 6 minutes of the opening half to take a 40-32 lead at the break.
Never miss a local story.
UNLV finished the first half 12-of-31 from the field, the Broncos 14-of-31 and holding a 25-18 rebounding edge. Senior guard Mikey Thompson, a Las Vegas native, had nine points and four rebounds for Boise State. Junior forward Nick Duncan had eight points, and junior forward James Webb III had seven points and eight rebounds.
After the Rebels opened the game strong, taking a 20-14 lead 9:08 into the contest, the Broncos hit nine of their next 18 field goals.
Pregame: The Boise State Broncos will try to win their seventh consecutive Mountain West regular season road game Wednesday at UNLV. The game tips off at 9 p.m. MT on CBS Sports Network.
UNLV (12-8, 3-4) has gone 3-1 since it fired coach Dave Rice, but is coming off a rough finish in a loss at rival Nevada. The Broncos (15-5, 6-1) are looking to keep pace with San Diego State atop the Mountain West.
Wednesday’s game is a homecoming for Boise State senior guard Mikey Thompson, whose late father will be honored before the game. Thompson has been a model of consistency, unlike last season.
In the Rebels, Boise State coach Leon Rice said his team will face one of the nation’s best teams in transition, led by guards Patrick McCaw (12.3 ppg) and Derrick Jones (10.2 ppg) followed closely by 7-foot freshman Stephen Zimmerman’s 10.1 ppg and 9.3 rpg.
“We know what we’re in for, we’ve had some colossal battles with UNLV,” Rice said.