LAS VEGAS - JaVale McGee is going through growing pains that all young college basketball players seem to endure.
In Nevada's first three games, McGee had a sub-par game against Central Florida, a good game against UC Irvine and then another sub-par game when he scored just four points and grabbed two rebounds against Santa Clara.
He was due for a big game against in-state rival UNLV, and he turned in a dandy with 20 points, which tied a career best, and a career-best 13 rebounds in a 79-67 loss at the Thomas & Mack Center.
"JaVale played well," Nevada coach Mark Fox said. "He played hard and played consistent."
Eight of McGee's rebounds came at the offensive end, helping Nevada to a 44-33 rebound edge against the smaller Rebels, who didn't have a starter bigger than 6-8.
He certainly impressed the Rebels with his ability to make shots in a crowd and at tough angles.
"He's the longest player I've ever seen," UNLV guard Wink Adams said. "He's really tough and very athletic."
"He's one of the longest players I've ever played against," Rene Rougeau said. "He works hard, and he'll get better."
KEMP MOVES UP
Nevada senior Marcelus Kemp scored 11 points and passed Garry Hill-Thomas to move into ninth place on the all-time career scoring list.
Kemp now has 1,345 points, five ahead of Hill-Thomas, who finished his career with 1,340.
Kemp also extended his streak of consecutive games in double figures for scoring. He has now scored in double figures in 66 games in his career, including 45 of the last 47 contests.
ARMON CAN SCORE
Freshman point guard Armon Johnson scored a career-best 15 points but didn't have an assist for the first time this year.
Johnson has reached double figures in three of Nevada's four games this year. The only time he failed to reach at least 10 points came against UC Irvine when he scored just seven.
Nevada is 1-2 on the road this year and in road games is averaging 18 turnovers a contest.
Nevada is now 32-9 in road contests since the start of the 2004-05 season, which is above the norm for college teams.
PITCHER IN THE HOUSE
San Diego Padre pitcher Greg Maddux, who recently re-signed with the Padres, was among the crowd of 13,068 at the contest.
Maddux , who attended the game with family members, makes his home in Las Vegas in the off-season.
FACTS & FIGURES
Nevada entered the game shooting a WAC-best 50.9 from the floor, but was held to 45.5 by the Rebels... Nevada, which blocked five shots on Saturday, three of those by Demarshay Johnson, entered the game with 5.67 shots blocked per game ... UNLV has won two straight over Nevada, and the loss snapped Nevada's two-game win streak ... UNLV is 34-6 at home in the last three-plus seasons ... UNLV has done a great job taking care of the ball. They entered the game with a 9.5 average and made just eight errors against the Wolf Pack .. Brandon Fields had a rough night, scoring just four points and turning the ball over three times.
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