Rebels basketball:

UNLV basketball ranked No. 20 after dramatic win at Cal; Rebs’ Bennett league’s Player of the Week

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Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

Cal guard Brandon Smith is defended by UNLV forwards Anthony Bennett, left, and Quintrell Thomas during the first half of their game Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012 at Haas Pavilion in Berkeley, Calif. UNLV won 76-75.

UNLV vs. Cal 2012

Cal guard Justin Cobbs tries to grab a loose ball from UNLV guard Anthony Marshall during the first half of their game Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012 at Haas Pavilion in Berkeley, Calif. UNLV won 76-75. Launch slideshow »

The UNLV basketball team’s last-second victory Sunday at Cal helped the Rebels move up one spot in the Associated Press rankings to No. 20.

Quintrell Thomas’ last-second rebound and layup gave UNLV (7-1) the dramatic victory and two road wins last week to jump in the poll, which was released Monday.

The Rebels were again paced by freshman Anthony Bennett, who led all scorers with 25 points and grabbed 13 rebounds to be named the Mountain West Conference Player of the Week. It was his career high in points and rebounds and the first time this season a UNLV player has earned the league’s weekly honors.

The 6-foot-8 power forward from Canada, who played two years in high school at Southern Nevada’s Findlay Prep, had a game-high 18 points and six rebounds Tuesday in a 68-60 victory at Portland. For the week, he averaged 21.5 points, 9.5 rebounds and two steals per game while making 15-of-28 shots.

San Diego State is ranked No. 18 in the AP’s poll, down one spot from last week, despite beating UC Santa Barbara and Texas Southern. They are replaced at No. 17 by New Mexico, giving the Mountain West three teams in the top 20 spots.

Indiana is ranked No. 1, followed by Duke, Michigan and Syracuse. Florida at No. 5 broke into the top five for the first time, while Louisville dropped a spot from last week to No. 6.

UNLV returns to action at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Orleans Arena against La Verne.

Ray Brewer can be reached at 990-2662 or [email protected]. Follow Ray on Twitter at twitter.com/raybrewer21.

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  1. Great win at Cal on the road. The ranking is about right for now. Any word on how Moser's elbow prognosis?