The New Mexico Lobos got their revenge over UNLV and took over sole possession of first place in the Mountain West Conference with a 76-66 victory in UNLV’s Thomas & Mack Center. New Mexico avenged a loss earlier in the year when UNLV came into Albuquerque and beat New Mexico in The Pit, New Mexico’s home arena.
Las Vegas native Darington Hobson led New Mexico over UNLV.
New Mexico was led by Las Vegas native and former Western High School student, Darington Hobson. Shooting 7-10 from the floor, Hobson hit two three pointers and pulled down 13 rebounds. Hobson was almost thrown out of the game midway through the second half after he appeared to throw a punch into the midsection of UNLV’s Chace Stanback. The referees looked at several replays and finally decided to call it a personal foul and move on.
UNLV fails to perform under the basket.
UNLV has been on the wrong side of the rebound tally most of the season and tonight was no different. At the half UNLV was being out rebounded by New Mexico 24-12 and 41-20 for the game. UNLV also had trouble penetrating New Mexico’s defense and attempted too many three pointers. Meanwhile New Mexico was smokin hot from the 3 point line, hitting 52.4% of their shots 11-21 and UNLV was 10-30 for 33.3%.
Finally at the 5:00 minute mark Tre’Von Willis started driving to the basket and UNLV narrowed the game to a two point deficit. That was as close as UNLV would get to New Mexico. Hobson drove the lane, missed and grabbed his own rebound. On the in bound pass Tre’Von Willis turned it over to Dairese Gary who passed to Phillip McDonald who then made a 3-pt. Jump Shot to put the nail in UNLV’s coffin.
Bellfield has a great offensive performance but drops the ball on defense.
Oscar Bellfield had one of his best offensive performances of the year but was partially responsible for the great game of New Mexico senior Roman Martinez. He hit four critical 3 pointers and scored 16 points. Bellfield was 4-10 from 3 point land and led UNLV with 15 points.
Tre’Von Willis who has been averaging over 20 points was held to 13 points and made 10 assists while leading the team in rebounds with just 4. Willis was shut down up the middle and start attacking the basket until it was too late. With all the adversity UNLV faced in the game they still were in the game with less than two minutes left. UNLV was not crashing the boards late in the game, or any time during the game and that was the difference.
UNLV now travels to San Diego St.
With a hard to swallow loss at home behind them, UNLV travels to San Diego St another team that can be considered on the bubble to make the NCAA Tournament. UNLV is now in a must win situation when they travel to San Diego. Coach Lon Kruger will be working on defense and attacking the basket in preparation for San Diego St. If UNLV can’t perform better under the basket they won’t make the NCAA Tournament.
CBS College TV