James caught an elbow to the face in a scrum for a rebound early in the second half and was sent to the bench with a bloody nose, but returned to help the Wildcats secure the win down the stretch. She scored over 20 points for the second straight game and tied for the team lead with seven rebounds, while making 9-of-11 shots from the field.
The Wildcats (4-1) never trailed during the game, but UNLV pulled to within four points with 2:30 remaining in the first half. Arizona scored the final 10 points of the half and took a 48-34 halftime lead. UNLV was never to reduce the Wildcat lead to less than 10 points in the second half.
Arizona had a season-high 25 assists, led by a career-high 14 from senior guard Reshea Bristol. Her previous career-high of 10 came Nov. 20 against Notre Dame. Bristol also scored nine points and had five steals for the Wildcats.
Led by James, four Wildcats scored in double-figures against the Lady Rebels. Junior forward Elizabeth Pickney tied her season high with 20 points, while junior guard Tysell Bozeman and sophomore forward Krista Warren scored 14 and 10, respectively. Pickney and Bozeman each had seven rebounds.
"Liz and V' (Veranda James) are becoming a great one-two punch," head coach Joan Bonvicini said. "I think everytime I see them play, I see that Liz and V' complement each other well. I'm not sure if V' broke her nose, but she will not practice tomorrow. She is being evaluated, and we will see how she is for Friday's game."
Freshman center Petra Glser led UNLV (5-1) with a career-high 20 points, 11 coming from the free throw line. Senior guard Dayna Gambill scored 13, and sophomore guard Constance Jinks and junior forward Linda Frhlich chipped in 12 and 11, respectively.
The Wildcats play Bowling Green Friday, 7 p.m., in the first game of the Arizona Basketball Classic. Bowling Green plays Fresno State Saturday, 4 p.m., and the Wildcats face Fresno State Sunday, 2 p.m.