Larry Johnson scored a career-high 35 points Saturday, including nine during a decisive Nevada-Las Vegas run in the second half, powering the top-ranked Runnin' Rebels to a 95-75 victory over No. 18 Michigan State.
Stacey Augmon added 20 points for the Runnin' Rebels, 3-0, who stretched their winning streak to 14 games.With the victory, UNLV Coach Jerry Tarkanian became the all-time winningest Division I coach by percentage in college basketball history. Tarkanian, in his 23rd year of coaching, is 568-119 for a winning percentage of .8267. Clair Bee, who coached at Rider and LIU-Brooklyn, is second at 410-86 (.8266).
The Spartans, 3-3, opened the second half with a 12-4 run, tying the game 54-54 with 14:58 left. Mark Montgomery and Steve Smith each had four points during the surge and Mike Peplowski evened the game with his bank shot.
After the teams traded baskets, Johnson put UNLV back up 59-56 with a 3-pointer. Matt Steigenga made two free throws and Smith converted on two technical free throws with 13:26 to play to give Michigan State its first lead since early in the game, 60-59.
UNLV, the defending national champions, regained control of the game with a 14-2 explosion and stifling defense that gave them a 73-62 bulge with 8:02 remaining. Johnson totaled nine of UNLV's points during the spurt - which included a scoreless stretch of 3:52 for Michigan State.
Smith powered Michigan State with 23 points.
Dwayne Stephens' two layups at the start of game gave Michigan State a 4-2 advantage.
The Spartans led 8-6 when the Runnin' Rebels had a 14-4 spurt to propel them into a 20-10 edge. Anderson Hunt gave UNLV its first lead with 15:19 remaining with his dunk and free throw.
The Runnin' Rebels held a comfortable cushion the remainder of the half, increasing the margin to 40-27 on George Ackles' dunk with 5:29 left.
Michigan State ran off seven straight points to climb within 40-34 with 3:26 to play. Montgomery capped the rally with a 3-point field goal.
UNLV - which scored 18 fastbreak points in the half, including 12 off dunks - held on for a 50-42 halftime lead.
Johnson led UNLV with 18 points in the first half and Augmon and Greg Anthony added 10 apiece.
Proceeds from the game, billed the Palace Classic, went to Comic Relief - a nonprofit organization that helps the homeless.
No. 3 Syracuse 94,
Long Beach St. 79
At Syracuse, N.Y., Billy Owens had 19 points and was one of six Orangemen in double figures as No. 3 Syracuse raced to a 19-6 lead and rolled over Long Beach State.
Syracuse (9-0) led 55-35 at halftime, then eliminated any hopes the 49ers might have had by holding Long Beach State to just 14 points in the first 111/2 minutes of the second half while extending its lead to 81-49.
Long Beach State (2-5), led by Lucious Harris' 24 points, closed the game with a 22-6 run against the Orangemen's reserves. Owens did not play in the final 91/2 minutes.
Center LeRon Ellis finished with 17 and freshman reserve Scott McCorkle had a career-high 14 points.
Syracuse, which outscored its opponents by 99 points in the opening half of its first eight games, used an aggressive all-court defense to force the 49ers into 19 turnovers in the first 20 minutes.
UTEP 71, No. 5 Georgetown 60
Coach John Thompson considered it a bruise, but not a serious injury to his Georgetown Hoyas.
Mark McCall led two scoring runs in the second half, and Texas-El Paso handed fifth-ranked Georgetown its first loss of the season, 71-60 Saturday.
"I don't like to lose, but I think it was a good experience for our kids," Thompson said. "It's more important that we become a better team . . . A couple of losses now are good for the soul. You need some bruises."
It was the first nonconference loss at the Capital Centre for the Hoyas since December 1982, when American University beat them 62-61.
McCall scored all 11 of his points in the second half. His three 3-point plays helped UTEP (5-2) build a 10-point lead, and the Miners scored the last 10 points after Georgetown (6-1) pulled to 61-60 with 2:41 to play.
"We're a young team, but no one should be surprised," UTEP coach Don Haskins said.
Georgetown forward Alonzo Mourning, who had missed two games with a turned ankle, played 28 minutes and scored 11 points.
No. 6 UCLA 92, DePaul 90
Darrick Martin hit two free throws with 4.6 seconds left for UCLA, off to its best start since the 1974-75 squad, John Wooden's last NCAA championship team.
Tracy Murray lead the Bruins (7-0) with 31 points. David Booth's 40 points topped the Blue Demons.
A last-second 3-pointer by Booth was short.
No. 7 Indiana 97, W. Michigan 68
Indiana (8-1) scored the first 16 points and rode Calbert Cheaney's 18 points to victory.
Coach Bob Knight, assessed to technical fouls for arguing with officials and ejected in the first half, said the death of athletic director Ralph Floyd just before the game had distracted him.
"Ralph is much more on my mind than the basketball game," Knight said.
No. 8 Ohio St. 109, American 73
Treg Lee scored a career-high 24 points, leading Ohio State to yet another lopsided victory. The Buckeyes (6-0) have won each of their games by at least 30 points and average a winning margin of 42.8.
American trailed only 16-13 with 11:37 left in the first half when Lee's 3-point play ignited a 16-3 run.
No. 9 North Carolina 95, Alabama 79
At Chapel Hill, N.C., Forward Pete Chilcutt scored 22 points and forward George Lynch added 20 - career highs for both - as No. 9 North Carolina defeated Alabama 95-79 Saturday night.
The Tar Heels, 6-1, got 15 points from guard Rick Fox. Guard Hubert Davis added 14 and center Eric Montross had 11.
Okla. 172, Loyola-Marymount 112
At Norman, Okla., Brent Price scored 56 points Saturday night, the second-most in Oklahoma history, in leading the 13th-ranked Sooners to a victory over Loyola Marymount.
Price, a junior who sat out last season after transferring from South Carolina, made a Big Eight-record 11 3-pointers in scoring the most points in Lloyd Noble Arena history. Wayman Tisdale holds the school record with 61 points, scored at a tournament in Oklahoma City in 1984.
No. 14 St. John's 78, Howard 65
At New York, Chucky Sproling triggered a 16-0 run midway through the second half, enabling No. 14 St. John's to take command and roll to a victory over Howard.
St. John's remained unbeaten with its eighth straight win but led only 56-54 with 11:09 left before Sproling's basket started the run.
No. 15. Pitt 98, Robert Morris 74
At Pittsburgh, the Panthers raced to a 9-0 lead and rode Jason Matthews' outside shooting to first-half leads of as many as 23 points as No. 15 Pittsburgh easily defeated city rival Robert Morris.
Matthews made three of Pitt's seven first-half 3-pointers and finished with 19 points as the Panthers (7-1) improved to 14-0 lifetime against the Colonials.
No. 18 Kentucky 86,
Richie Farmer, Reggie Hanson and John Pelphrey hit consecutive 3-pointers midway through the second half, turning back a rally by Tennessee-Chattanooga.
Kentucky (5-1) led 35-26 at the half and went up 46-32 on Hanson's 3-pointer after a Chattanooga turnover with 17:07 to go.
No. 22 S. Miss. 84, NE Louisiana 72
At Hattiesburg, Miss., Clarence Weatherspoon scored 17 points and had 11 rebounds and No. 22 Southern Mississippi used a 17-6 second-half surge to beat Northeast Louisiana.
Northeast Louisiana (3-4) started the second half with a 16-8 run to turn a 43-40 haltime deficit into a 56-51 lead. Weatherspoon's layup and Ron Rembert's 3-pointer offset a free throw and cut the deficit to 57-56 with 13:27 left.
Temple 69, No. 23 Georgia Tech 67
At Philadelphia, Donald Hodge scored 22 points, and Mark Macon added 21 as Temple rallied for a victory over No. 23 Georgia.
The victory was Temple's 16th straight at home and improved the Owls' record at McGonigle Hall to 71-4.
Georgia Tech (3-3) held a 56-51 lead on a layup by Matt Geiger with 9:56 to play. But Temple (3-2) went on an 11-3 run, with 7 points from Macon, for a 62-59 lead with 6:11 remaining.
No. 24 E. Tennesee St. 96,
George Mason 86
At Fairfax, Va., Keith Jennings scored 18 of his 29 points in the second half and teamed with Calvin Talford to rally No. 24 East Tennessee State from a nine-point deficit to a victory over George Mason.
Jennings scored 11 of his points during a 24-11 surge as the Buccanneers (7-1) erased the Patriots' 55-46 lead and raced to their sixth straight victory, spoiling George Mason's home opener.
S. Utah 95, Morehead St. 71
At Cedar City, Utah, Peter Johnson had 28 points and four other Southern Utah players scored in double figures as the Thunderbirds routed Morehead State 95-71 Saturday night.
It was only the second loss in seven starts for Morehead, of the Ohio Valley Conference. S. Utah, an independent, improved its record to 4-3.