BOISE, Idaho -- Mike Moser played through aches and illness while his teammates had their worst shooting performance of the season.
Moser, who has battled a sore throat and head cold for two days and vomited twice before the game, scored 18 points, snatched a season-high 21 rebounds and made a critical block in the closing seconds of regulation to send the game to overtime.
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"Mike was very sick. He was too tough to miss practice, but for Mike to be as sick as he was and to play the way he did is very impressive. He was a big part of the reason we won," UNLV coach Dave Rice said.
Moser scored five points and grabbed four rebounds in the extra period as the Rebels (19-3, 3-1 Mountain West Conference) hung on, outscoring the Broncos 13-8 in the final 5 minutes.
"We knew that tonight would be a tremendous challenge," Rice said. "We're still learning how to play well when it's a big game for the other team. And this was a big game for Boise State."
The Rebels got off to a quick start and led 12-0 before the Broncos (10-9, 0-4) got on the board.
But UNLV cooled off from there while struggling with missed shots, turnovers and dealing with a feisty Boise State defense.
The Rebels got 15 points from Chace Stanback and 13 from Oscar Bellfield. But UNLV shot a season-low 34.8 percent from the field and fired up 34 3-point attempts, a season high.
"I think it speaks for the resiliency of our team, that on a night we didn't play very well, we still found a way to make enough plays to win a very competitive game," Rice said.
Boise State had a chance at the end of regulation, but Moser swooped in to deflect a 3-point attempt by Thomas Bropleh seconds before the buzzer, ending the second half with the score tied at 64.
Moser and Bellfield then took control, dominating a younger Broncos team that appeared winded after a late second-half rally. Bellfield hit a 3-pointer early, putting the Rebels up 70-65 with 2:03 left, and Moser sank a pair of free throws in the final minute to seal UNLV's third straight victory.
Derrick Marks led the Broncos with 21 points and Bropleh added 17 points and 13 rebounds, his first double-double of the season. Boise State shot 38.5 percent from the field, including 48.5 percent in the second half.
Broncos coach Leon Rice said there is plenty his team can take from such a tough loss. The Rebels are the highest-ranked team to play at Boise State since No. 9 Washington State visited in 2007.
"What I think we've shown is we can compete in stretches. The stretches are getting longer," Leon Rice said.
After trailing for most of the first half, Boise State briefly grabbed the lead in the second when Bropleh hit a 3-pointer and was fouled. He followed by hitting the free throw to give the Broncos a 33-31 edge with 17:50 left.
Then Moser took over, hitting three 3-pointers over the next 3 minutes, the last one putting the Rebels up 43-39. Kendall Wallace hit a 3 on the next Rebels possession and Bellfield followed moments later with a fast-break layup to put UNLV in front 48-39 with 12:51 to go.
But the Broncos refused to quit. A stingy defense and an offense sparked by Tre' Nichols helped Boise State outscore the Rebels 13-6 over the next 5 minutes. Nichols scored nine points during a 5-minute span and his 3-pointer with 5:55 left put the Broncos up 56-55.
Bellfield hit a 3-pointer with 4:39 left to put the Rebels up 63-59 and Brice Massamba hit one of two free throws on the following possession to give the Rebels a 64-59 lead.
Boise State responded when Anthony Drmic hit a 3-pointer and Marks sank both free throws with 59 seconds left to tie the game at 64.