Lady Rebels hang on at Boise State, reach 20 wins for first time since 2004

The UNLV women's basketball team reached 20 victories for the first time in eight years with a 75-66 win over Boise State on Wednesday night in a Mountain West Conference game at Boise, Idaho.

Guard Kelli Thompson scored 22 points, hitting 10 of 11 free throws, to lead four Lady Rebels in double figures. She added six assists, four rebounds and four steals as UNLV (20-8, 8-4 MWC) reached 20 victories for the first time since the 2003-04 team won 26 games.

Guard Mia Bell scored 17 points for the Rebels, forward Lenita Sanford had 14 points and nine rebounds, and forward Jamie Smith added 12 points and seven rebounds. Smith, a senior, made her 120th career start, a school record.

UNLV led 41-30 at halftime and stretched the margin to 51-34 with 14:39 left. But Boise State (13-14, 4-8) cut the deficit to 66-62 with 3:22 remaining.

The Rebels then turned two straight steals into four points for a 70-62 lead with 1:56 to play, and made five of six free throws to finish the game.

UNLV hit 16 of 17 from the line overall. It also had 13 steals and forced 23 turnovers.

The Rebels moved into a tie for second in the Mountain West with Colorado State, which lost Wednesday at New Mexico. San Diego State leads the conference with an 11-1 record.

UNLV plays its final road game of the regular season Saturday at Air Force, with tipoff at 1 p.m.