A happy homecoming for Wink, 70-58

FORT WORTH – Wink Adams' mom, Ann, was among those holding court with the TCU student section during much of the second half of UNLV's 70-58 victory over the Horned Frogs at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum on Wednesday. She had plenty of reason to be proud.

Her son scored a game-high 25 points, including 18 in the second half, to help lead the Runnin' Rebels (16-4, 5-1) to their fourth straight victory, 70-58.

Adams hit four 3-pointers in the second half, including two during a 13-2 run over a four-minute second half span to increase UNLV's lead to 66-49 with 4:44 to go.

"I got a lot of shots in before the game," Adams said. "I just felt real comfortable having my family there. That gives me more confidence whenever I play at home, so I was ready to knock some down tonight."

Call it the home state advantage. Adams' family actually has to make a five-hour drive up from Houston to take in the game and could be easily spotted cheering the Rebels on in the sparse crowd that was generously reported as 3,577.

"A lot of people showed up," Adams said. "Whenever you can have a lot of friends and family (cheering) you on it always feels good."

Ann Adams seemed to be carrying on a good-natured conversation with many in the TCU student section sitting directly behind her. Son Wink held up three fingers to his fan club after putting in the final nail in TCU's coffin with his final trey that upped UNLV's lead to 17 points with 4:44 left.

"She was going back-and-forth with them during the game so I knew I was going to have to back her up and hit some shots," Adams said with a smile.

Adams connected on 8-of-17 shots from the floor, including 5-of-10 from 3-point range. The Mountain West Conference free throw leader (91 percent) also was a perfect 4-of-4 at the free throw line.

"Wink did a very good job," TCU coach Neil Dougherty said. "Every time we got within striking distance he made a big shot. That's what he has done for them forever."

UNLV, which remains in a tie for first place with BYU, a 69-53 winner at Air Force, got a big break early in the contest when TCU guard Henry Salter, who leads the Mountain West Conference and ranks No. 2 in the nation in 3-point shooting (54.2 percent), tripped over his own feet while running down the court and badly sprained his right ankle in the process.

Salter suffered the injury just 1:11 into the game. He had missed his only shot attempt in the contest and never returned after being helped to the locker room.

"Obviously it hurt us," Dougherty said. "We would have preferred to have him out there. Everyone goes through injuries but it's much easier to handle a game plan when you already know that you're not going to have him as opposed to finding out just (1:11) into the game. That was probably a difficult thing to get over initially but everybody goes through that."

The Rebels also got big games from junior forward Joe Darger (12 points, 7 rebounds) and junior guard Rene Rougeau (9 points, 5 steals).

UNLV, which has won nine of its last 10 games, returns home to host New Mexico on Saturday night at the Thomas & Mack Center.

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