UNLV 109, Soviets 80
LAS VEGAS (AP) _ All-America Larry Johnson scored 38 points and grabbed 20 rebounds to lead No. 1-ranked UNLV to a 109-80 rout of the Soviet National Team on Saturday.
The Runnin’ Rebels led by 38 points with 10:45 remaining after 3-point jumpers by Johnson, Anderson Hunt and Greg Anthony. Hunt finished with 19 points and Anthony had 12. Johnson scored all his points in 25 minutes.
Oleg Meleshenko led the Soviets with 21 points while Viktor Berezhnoi had 20 and Guntars Vetra added 18. UNLV, the defending national champion, has won all four of its meetings with the Soviets.
The Soviets finished this year’s U.S. tour 2-5. Saturday’s game was the first of the season for the Rebels.
The Rebels raced to a 15-4 lead in the first four minutes, with Johnson scoring eight points. UNLV led by 18 points with 11:06 remaining when Stacey Augmon hit two free throws to put the Rebels ahead 30-12.
The Soviets pulled within 47-38 with three minutes remaining in the half on jumpers by Meleshenko and Sergei Bazarevich, who had 11 points and led his team with nine rebounds. But a 13-3 run gave UNLV a 60-41 halftime lead. Johnson had 29 points and 17 rebounds in the first half.
The Soviets lost the opening game of this year’s tour to Duke, then beat Purdue and Texas before falling to Indiana, Connecticut and Georgia Tech.
George Ackles, the Rebels’ 6-foot-9 senior, sat out Saturday’s game as a resolution to a year-old NCAA sanction in which 10 players were ordered to sit out one game each for failing to pay hotel room incidentals on road trips. The other nine players served the suspensions last season, but Ackles was out for the season because of an injury.