March 10, 2000
By TIM DAHLBERG
AP Sports Writer
LAS VEGAS (AP) - Mark Dickel had 18 assists and UNLV ran like the Runnin'Rebels of old Friday night, beating Wyoming 97-92 to get to the finals of theMountain West Conference tournament.
Kaspars Kambala scored 14 of his 18 points in the second half and freshmanDalron Johnson had a career-high 23 points before fouling out, as UNLV camefrom behind in the second half in a game played at a frenetic pace.
The Rebels (22-7) trailed 80-71 with 8:05 left before going on a 16-4 runcapped by Kambala's layup that gave UNLV an 87-84 lead.
Wyoming (19-12) came back to lead 88-87, but Trevor Diggs hit a 3-pointer tospark an 8-1 run that put UNLV ahead for good.
UNLV will meet Brigham Young on Saturday for the first men's basketballtitle of the year-old conference.
Playing before a home crowd, UNLV ran up and down the court with the Cowboysin a game that saw both teams shoot better than 50 percent.
Trevor Diggs, mired in a shooting slump all season, made five of six3-pointers, including the 3-pointer that put UNLV ahead for good, 90-88, with alittle over 3 minutes left in the game.
Diggs had 20 points.
LeDarion Jones dominated at times inside for Wyoming, scoring 27 points andgrabbing 10 rebounds. But the Cowboys were hurt by leading scorer Josh Davissitting on the bench for a long stretch in the second half, after picking uphis fourth foul with 16:44 remaining.
Brett McFall had 17 for Wyoming.
The first half was vintage UNLV run-and-gun, a game the Cowboys showed theycan also play.
With both teams shooting more than 50 percent for the half, Wyoming led mostof the half, building its biggest lead of the half at 44-35 on a layup byAnthony Blakes with 4:05 left.
UNLV then went on a 14-6 run the rest of the half, finally taking its firstlead since 4-3 on a basket by Kaspars Kambala to make it 49-48 as time expired.