Malachi Flynn scored 21 points and Trey Pulliam added a career-high 18 points as unbeaten and fourth-ranked San Diego State broke the school and Mountain West record for best start to a season with a 71-67 victory over UNLV on Sunday afternoon in Las Vegas.
The 21-0 start broke the previous record set by the Kawhi Leonard-led 2010-11 San Diego State squad that went on to finish 34-3 and advance to the Sweet 16 where it lost to eventual national champion UConn 74-67. The 2013-14 Aztecs squad also had a 20-game winning streak en route to a Sweet 16 loss to Arizona.
Jordan Schakel finished with 11 points and Yanni Wetzell had eight points and eight rebounds for the Aztecs (21-0, 10-0), who won their fifth straight game over UNLV and 16th in the last 17 meetings with the Runnin' Rebels.
Bryce Hamilton finished with a game-high 29 points and 10 rebounds, his second career double-double, for UNLV (11-11, 6-3), which had its six-game home winning streak snapped. Marvin Coleman added 11 points and six rebounds.
San Diego State led by as many as nine points four times in the first half, the last time 29-20 at the 5:26 mark on a pair of free throws by Flynn. UNLV closed to 29-26 on a 3-pointer by Hamilton but the Aztecs closed the half on a 5-2 run capped by a floater of an offensive rebound by Pulliam to go in at halftime with a 34-28 lead.
UNLV battled back to take a 40-38 lead on a rebound basket by Cheikh Mbacke Diong and led 45-43 with 11:52 remaining after a 3-pointer by Elijah Mitrou-Long. But San Diego State then went on a 12-2 run over the next the next 7 1/2 minutes, holding the Runnin' Rebels without a field goal in the process, to go back in front by eight, 55-47 with less than five minutes to play.
UNLV got as close as 55-52 on dunk by Diong before the Aztecs pulled away with an 8-1 run, capped by a 3-pointer by Schakel with 1:54 left. The Runnin' Rebels never got closer than four points the rest of the way.
San Diego State has won 26 consecutive games when leading at halftime.
--Field Level Media