Rebels improve to 4-1 with 96-88 win over USF

Any questions about Kevin Kruger's injured right ankle should be all but answered now after the senior point guard scored 16 points and dished out nine assists in 35 minutes of action while helping lead UNLV (4-1) to a 96-88 victory over San Francisco (2-3) on Saturday night at the Thomas & Mack Center.

UNLV jumped out to a 19-6 lead in the first 10 minutes of action and never trailed in the contest, leading by double-figures most of the second half.

The Runnin' Rebels had excellent scoring balance with Kruger joined in double figures by fellow starters Michael Umeh (team-high 20 points), Wendell White (19 points, 7 rebounds) and Wink Adams (17 points, 4 assists).

"I think we're evolving into a club where we have a lot of people who can score," head coach Lon Kruger said. "Our scoring balance was good. A lot of the guys were making shots."

UNLV shot 48.5 percent from the floor and made 10 of its 25 3-points tries. The Runnin' Rebels also held a 40-31 rebounding edge despite the fact starting center Joel Anthony (4 points, 4 rebounds) played just 17 minutes because of foul problems.

Because the National Finals Rodeo takes over the Thomas & Mack Center for the next two weeks, UNLV hits the road for its next four games starting Tuesday night at Arizona.

"It's really tough to win there," Kevin Kruger, who was winless in three attempts at the McKale Center while playing for Arizona State, said. "It's crazy. They feed off runs. We just can't allow them to pressure us and get on too many runs."

Kevin Kruger said his ankle, which forced him to miss two games before returning last Tuesday against Washburn, said the injury feels "about as good as it's going to get for a while."

He came up just one assist shy of a double-double against the Dons. "I wasn't aware of it until a couple of minutes ago," Kruger said afterward. "A double-double would be nice. If we can get that from the point position I'm sure we'll be successful."

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