Las Vegas, NV (SportsNetwork.com) - Khem Birch registered a double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds as the UNLV Runnin' Rebels claimed a narrow 75-73 overtime decision against the Fresno State Bulldogs in Mountain West Conference action at the Thomas & Mack Center.
Deville Smith posted 17 points and Kevin Olekaibe 15 for the Runnin' Rebels (13-7, 4-3 MWC) as they won for the third time in the last four outings. Bryce Dejean-Jones and Roscoe Smith both tallied 10 points, the former also handing out seven assists.
The Bulldogs (8-13, 1-7) were paced by Cezar Guerrero who tallied 18 points, but he shot only 6-of-20 from the field. Paul Watson responded with 17 points, Tyler Johnson 14 and Alex Davis a double-double off the bench with 12 points and 11 rebounds as the team bowed for the fifth time in as many games.
Fresno State opened the meeting on an 11-2 run, but the squad eventually shot just 40.6 percent from the field in the period, leaving the Bulldogs with a 37-31 advantage at the break.
In the second half FSU dipped to only 32.3 percent accuracy from the floor, allowing UNLV to battle back and take a four-point lead late in regulation. However, a layup by Davis at the 1:53 mark of the frame knotted the score at 66-66, sending the meeting into overtime.
In the extra session a 3-pointer by Dejean-Jones with one minute to play put the hosts ahead for good as they held on for the two-point decision.
The Bulldogs logged a 47-44 rebounding advantage, but the team hurt itself with just 10-of-18 shooting at the free-throw line.
Olekaibe, a transfer from Fresno State, converted three attempts behind the 3- point line and also picked up seven rebounds against his former team.