Updated at: 12/10/2012 7:36 PM
By MICHAEL WAGAMAN
(AP) BERKELEY, Calif. - Quintrell Thomas grabbed Anthony Marshall’s airball under the basket and scored on a short hook shot with 1.2 seconds remaining to lift No. 21 UNLV to a 76-75 win over California on Sunday.
The Runnin’ Rebels led for most of the second half but trailed 75-74 following two free throws by Cal’s Justin Cobbs with 11.9 seconds left. Marshall then rushed a long jumper that Thomas alertly grabbed and flipped in. Thomas was fouled on the play but missed the free throw. Justin Hawkins then blocked a 3-point attempt by Cobbs from midcourt as the buzzer sounded.
Anthony Bennett had career-highs of 25 points and 13 rebounds while leading UNLV (7-1) to its sixth straight win. Bryce Dejean-Jones also had a career-best 22 points.
Allen Crabbe scored 18 for California.
The Rebels weren’t sharp offensively early and trailed most of the first half. They made up for it by dominating the boards despite losing leading rebounder Mike Moser to injury less than five minutes into the game.
Moser crashed to the floor during a scramble for a loose ball and lay on his stomach for several moments as trainers rushed to him. Coach Dave Rice also made his way over before Moser _ who missed UNLV’s previous game against Portland with a hip injury _ was slowly helped to his feet and escorted into the locker room. He clutched the shirt of an assistant coach for support as he walked off.
It didn’t seem to slow the Rebels.
They had three players in double figures by halftime, limited Cal to one offensive rebound, and outscored the Bears 22-6 in the paint in the first half. Then they held off a late charge by the Golden Bears.
Cal backup center Robert Thurman’s putback gave Cal a 72-70 lead before Bennett tied it with a thunderous one-handed dunk from the baseline.
Crabbe made a free throw to break the tie, but Bennett followed with a 15-foot jumper to put the Rebels up 74-73. Cobbs then made two free throws after being fouled by Marshall, setting the stage for Thomas’ game-winner.
UNLV, which beat Cal 85-68 on Dec. 23, 2011, leads 5-1 in the series.
Cal played a long stretch of the first half without its best player. Crabbe went to the bench for the final 6:49 after picking up his third foul.
Marshall made one free throw following Crabbe’s foul to give the Rebels their first lead. He then combined with Bennett for 14 points during a 16-6 run, helping UNLV grab a 45-38 halftime lead.
The Bears fell behind by nine early in the second half before rallying behind Crabbe to set up the wild finish.
Richard Solomon finished with 14 points and eight rebounds for Cal (6-2), which has lost two straight after opening the season 6-0.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)