Rebels steal one from South Florida, 74-59

This time 3-pointers weren't falling at an unfathomable 68.0 percent clip. So Lon Kruger's UNLV Runnin' Rebels had to revert to old reliable hard-nosed, man-to-man defense to pull out a 74-59 victory over South Florida on Tuesday night at the Thomas & Mack Center. Actually, "stole" might be a better way to put it.

The Runnin' Rebels (10-2) once again put their superior quickness to good use by forcing 23 turnovers and racking up 14 steals in knocking off the Bulls (7-3) of the Big East Conference and claiming the three-day Duel in the Desert Classic in the process.

UNLV, which went 3-0 to win the round-robin tourney, has now won six straight games heading into Friday night's home game against Minnesota.

"Fourteen steals to one?," senior forward Wendell White said in disbelief. "Man, that's amazing."

White finished with 24 points, 11 rebounds and a game-high five steals. He also sparked an 18-3 UNLV streak midway through the second half with a thunderous dunk after a steal.

Senior point guard Kevin Kruger (14 points, 3 steals, 3 assists), who had a key 3-pointer in the second half run, was named the Most Valuable Player of the tournament.Both White and sophomore guard Wink Adams (14 points, 2 steals) joined Kruger on the all-tournament squad.

"It feels good and it feels special but I don't really see anything special in personal accolades," Kevin Kruger said of his MVP award. "It wouldn't have been possible if Wendell White wasn't playing the way he was, and the same with Wink. They were both all-tournament selections, too."

"It was a very, very good three days for us," Lon Kruger said.

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