LAS VEGAS (AP) _ Hunkie Cooper passed for two touchdowns and ran for another as UNLV defeated New Mexico State 38-28 Saturday in the Big West Conference.

Cooper led the Rebels (4-6 overall, 2-4 in the Big West) to their highest scoring output of the season by rushing for 89 yards and hitting nine of 16 passes for 212 yards, with no interceptions.

New Mexico State's Charles Pulari fired three scoring passes and connected on 27 of 46 for 360 yards and one interception.

Cooper's 51-yard TD pass to Demond Thompkins put the game out of reach, giving the Rebels a 38-21 lead with 4:34 to play. The Aggies (2-8, 2-3) answered less than a minute later on Pulari's 15-yard pass to Atlas Reagor to complete the scoring.

The Rebels never trailedm but were tied twice in the first half, at 7-7 and 14-14. Shannon McLean's 1-yard touchdown run with 36 seconds left in the first half put UNLV ahead to stay at 21-14.

Cooper ran 9 yards for a touchdown and passed 31 yards to Henry Bailey for another score in the first half. The Aggies tied it on Pulari's 11-yard pass to Ezell Brown and 35-yard pass to Fred Montgomery.

Derek Black's 2-yard TD run gave UNLV a 28-14 lead with 12:49 left in the third quarter, but the Aggies came back to score four minutes later on Jimmie Mitchell's 1-yard run.

Nick Garritano's 41-yard field goal with 9:52 left in the game gave the Rebels a 31-21 lead.

Freshman running back Matt Wills led UNLV's ground game with 137 yards rushing on 22 attempts.