LAS VEGAS (Ticker) -- Everytime UNLV threatened Oklahoma State, seniors Joey Graham and Ivan McFarlin had an answer.
Graham scored 20 points and McFarlin added 17 as No. 4 Oklahoma State remained unbeaten with a hard-fought 79-67 victory over UNLV in the first game of the Las Vegas Showdown.
The Cowboys (8-0) had a seemingly comfortable 40-26 lead at the half, but the Runnin' Rebels drew within 48-38 on a 3-pointer by Jerel Blassingame with 15:51 remaining. But Graham scored eight points in a 17-8 run that gave Oklahoma State a 65-46 advantage 5 1/2 minutes later.
UNLV (3-4) chipped away and eventually cut the deficit to 71-63 when Romel Beck made a pair of free throws with just under two minutes on the clock. McFarlin ended the threat with a dunk on the other end to push the lead back to 10.
After the Rebels opened an early 6-2 lead, McFarlin and Graham scored four points apiece in the Cowboys' 17-3 run that made it 19-9 with 10:30 left in the first half.
UNLV scored the next seven points, but McFarlin and John Lucas combined for eight in a 14-2 spurt that once again gave Oklahoma State some breathing room.
Lucas scored 17 for the Cowboys, who shot just under 50 percent (31-of-63).
Beck scored 25 points and Blassingame chipped in with 19 for the Rebels, who have lost five straight meetings with the Cowboys.