TUCSON, Ariz. — Dusan Ristic scored a career-high 20 points, Ryan Anderson had 17 points and 13 rebounds, and No. 13 Arizona outlasted UNLV 82-70 on Saturday night.
Arizona (11-1) played superbly on offense all night, shooting 52 percent, and built a 12-point lead behind its defense in the second half.
UNLV (8-4) made a late push, pulling within four with just over 2 minutes left, but Gabe York and Allonzo Trier each scored in transition to put Arizona back in control.
Trier and Kadeem Allen had 15 points each to help the Wildcats extend the nation’s longest home winning streak to 46 games.
UNLV had a hard time defending the Wildcats or keeping them off the glass with freshman center Stephen Zimmerman limited to nine minutes due to a left thigh contusion.
Ike Nwamu had 17 points and Derrick Jones Jr. added 12 for the Rebels, who were outrebounded by 13.
The Rebels were in need of a pick-me-up after blowing a 14-point lead in a loss to Arizona State at home. UNLV labored through the second half as the Sun Devils rallied for a 66-56 win at the Thomas and Mack Center, leading to a long film session on Thursday with the coaches.
The session’s focus was primarily on rebounds and offensive execution. The Rebels were outrebounded 16-1 on the offensive glass overall and shot a dismal 5 of 26 while scoring 19 points in the second half.
UNLV did hand Arizona one of its four losses last season, a 71-67 home victory that sent the students storming onto the court.
The Wildcats have a vastly different team after losing four starters and playing without Kaleb Tarczewski for the seventh straight game with a foot injury. Arizona has done just fine without the 7-foot center, beating Missouri and Northern Arizona by a combined 91 points.
Saturday’s game started just like the one in Las Vegas a year ago, both teams showing off their athleticism in a fast-paced game filled with offense.
Ristic had his way with the Rebels inside, with or without Zimmerman in the middle, scoring 14 points in the opening 12 minutes. He had 16 in the half and Arizona made 15 of 29 shots, using a quick 7-0 spurt to lead 44-36 at halftime.
The Rebels tried to keep up, making 16 of 31 shots, but were limited without Zimmerman. The 7-foot freshman didn’t start and scored six points before limping off midway through the half.
Zimmerman didn’t return, but the Rebels turned up the defensive pressure early in the second half to set easy shots in transition, going on an 11-3 run that cut the lead to 54-51.
Arizona later pushed the lead to 12, but UNLV had one more run, scoring nine straight points to pull close to 69-65 with about 2 1/2 minutes left.
York followed with a three-point play and Allen scored in transition to put Arizona in control.
UNLV: Coach Dave Rice was called for a technical foul in the first half for arguing a foul call against the Rebels. … Leading scorer Patrick McCaw was held to eight points on 3-of-14 shooting, missing all five of his 3-point attempts.
Arizona: Trier and coach Sean Miller were honored before the game for their work with USA Basketball. … Junior guard Elliott Pitts missed his fourth straight game due to a personal issue.
Arizona hosts Long Beach State on Tuesday.