Caleb Martin had 26 points and six rebounds in leading No. 8 Nevada to an 87-70 victory over UNLV on Tuesday night.
Since losing at New Mexico on Jan. 5, the Wolf Pack (20-1, 7-1 Mountain West) have won six straight — five by double digits. Nevada has outscored its opponents by an average of 20.3 points during the streak.
The Runnin’ Rebels (11-9, 5-3) lost their second in a row and third in five games.
Jordan Caroline added 18 points and 10 rebounds for Nevada, his 12th double-double of the season. Cody Martin chipped in with 10 points, seven assists and six rebounds.
Kris Clyburn paced UNLV with 23 points and eight rebounds. Amauri Hardy scored 17.
Nevada turned 14 UNLV turnovers into 14 points and outscored the Rebels 15-10 in fast-break points.
Nevada used a first-half shooting spree to put the game away early, dominating inside and having its way with its archrival. The Wolf Pack opened a 13-6 lead and extended the spread to 12 after completing a 9-2 run midway through the half.
Later in the first half, Nevada set the tone for the blowout with a 13-1 spurt to move ahead 36-17 before taking a 48-26 lead into the locker room behind 48.4 percent shooting (15 of 31). Nevada also shot 5 of 13 from 3-point range and was 13 for 16 at the free throw line in the first half.
And while the Wolf Pack were pulling away in the opening period, the Runnin’ Rebels never found a rhythm, forcing shots from the perimeter and making desperate drives into the paint. Some shots fell, but most didn’t, as UNLV looked beleaguered against Nevada’s bigger lineup.
The Rebels shot 10 for 33 from the field, including an abysmal 0 for 12 from 3-point range, while falling behind by 22 at halftime.
Nevada: Caroline is averaging 18.7 points and 9.7 rebounds per game. He has 39 double-doubles in his Nevada career, fourth in school history. The Wolf Pack are 37-2 when he posts a double-double.
UNLV: The Runnin’ Rebels struggled to get support from their reserves, as Nevada outscored UNLV’s bench 19-14. UNLV’s backups were 4 for 10 from the field, a huge factor once Joel Ntambwe and Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua picked up their fourth fouls.
Nevada: The Wolf Pack look to avoid a hangover after this blowout win when they host Boise State on Saturday. The Broncos will be seeking revenge after Nevada escaped Boise with a one-point victory in the first meeting on Jan. 15.
UNLV: Plays at Utah State on Saturday. UNLV is 3-5 away from home, including 2-3 in true road games.