The Rebels came out running early as guard
Dejean-Jones provided a spark, hitting a trio or three-point shots
scoring 13 of his 16 points for the game in the first 12 minutes.
that spark to take a 24-10 lead and virtually never looked back.
"I just thought the first 10 to 14 minutes of
we were just a little out of character," said UNM head coach Steve Alford.
"We didn't play with poise."
The Rebels shot hot in the first half,
behind the arc, hitting 7-of-16 treys in the first half and
shooting 40 percent
from the field overall. By contrast, UNM shot just 9-of-30 from
the floor (30%)
and just 2-of-12 from 3-point range (16.7 percent).
But it was UNLV’s stifling defense that caused
the Lobos the
most problems, as an extended defense that often caught UNM guards
produced 10 first half turnovers and gave the Rebels the up tempo
game pace they
New Mexico (20-4, 7-2 MWC, ranked 15th in the
AP poll and
16th in the Coaches poll) opened the second half on a 5-0 run but
to hold the lead in double digits for much of the second half. UNM
cut the lead
to 56-48 on an Alex Kirk tip-in with 3:34 left but the Lobos were
unable to cut
the lead anymore, going the next two minutes without a field goal.
"I thought our guys gave great effort," said
Alford. "(We held them to) 37 percent shooting and we tied them on
backboard (44 rebounds apiece). We didn't turn the ball over that
times). I really like what the guys did defensively.
"But you shoot 50 (percent) from the line and
33 (percent) from the field and 18 (percent) from 3 - that's hard
to win on the
road when you have those kinds of shooting numbers."
Kirk for UNM had a career night on the boards,
pulling in a
career-high 16 rebounds while completing the double-double scoring
Cameron Bairstow added 13 points and six rebounds but no other
Lobo scored in
Anthony Bennett led UNLV with 17 points and 12
guards Dejean-Jones and Katin Reinhardt added 16 points, combining
to shoot 7
of 13 on three pointers.
UNM committed 10 of their 13 turnovers in the
first half and
the Rebels took advantage scoring 13 points off the gaffes.
UNLV improved to 18-6, 5-4 in league play and
are tied with
Air Force for fourth in the MWC. UNM remained in the MWC lead
despite the loss,
maintaining a half-game lead over Colorado St., which was idle