Las Vegas, NV – Two of the more dominant teams in the ranked UNLV clashes with the Lobos of New Mexico.
The Rebels, a perfect 11-0 in their own building and 13-0 in Las Vegas overall this season, rebounded from their first loss in over a month versus San Diego State last weekend (69-67) by putting up a convincing 101-78 triumph against TCU three nights ago. The victory was the eighth in the last nine games for UNLV and evened the team's league mark at 1-1 which is where New Mexico stands at the moment as well.
The Lobos, who are in fact better away from home (7-1) than they are in The Pit (8-2) so far this season, hosted San Diego State on Wednesday night and bowed to the 16th-ranked team in the nation, 75-70. Prior to three nights ago, UNM had rattled off 13 straight wins after beginning 2011-12 with a mark of 2-2.
As far as the all-time series is concerned, the Rebels are ahead by a count of 27-15 after winning the most recent meeting last February in Albuquerque by a score of 77-74 in overtime.
Less than three minutes into the meeting with San Diego State on Wednesday night it appeared the Lobos were well on their way to a comfortable victory, ahead 10-0 to begin, but then it all fell apart. In the second half, UNM allowed the Aztecs to knock down 53.6 percent from the floor and 5-of-9 behind the three-point line, en route to the five-point decision. Phillip McDonald came off the bench to offer up 20 points as he sank 6-of-9 beyond the arc, while Kendall Williams contributed 16 points for the Lobos. Drew Gordon was responsible for 15 points, eight rebounds and five assists and Jamal Fenton 10 points and six dishes in the losing cause. McDonald's scoring burst was a welcomed addition to the New Mexico offense, seeing as how he had accounted for just 86 points in his previous 15 games combined. But for the most part, this is a program that see Gordon as the leader in the paint with his 12.6 ppg and 10.4 rpg, while Tony Snell (12.8 ppg) and Williams (11.9 ppg) try to work their magic out on the wings. Concerned with slowing the pace and playing tight defense, the Lobos have permitted opponents to shoot only 37.5 percent from the field and 30.6 percent behind the three-point line, en route to 58.9 ppg on the season.
Anthony Marshall shot 11-of-18 from the floor as he filled up his stat line with 27 points, nine assists, five rebounds, three blocked shots and a couple of steals in the win over TCU. Chace Stanback added 21 points, shooting 5-of-7 behind the three-point line, and Mike Moser logged yet another double-double with 16 points and a massive 15 rebounds as the Rebels shot a sizzling 57.8 percent from the floor and 11-of-21 behind the three-point line in order to offset a mediocre 16-of-28 (.571) showing at the free-throw line. Moser has been a fantastic addition to the Rebels this season, accounting for 14.0 ppg and a team-best 11.4 rpg which puts him in rare company with only a few other players who can claim to be averaging a double-double this late into the season. Stanback, a 47.6 percent three-point shooter, steps in as the current leading scorer for the Rebels with his 14.7 ppg, while Marshall (12.3 ppg) is handling a little bit of everything from rebounding (4.5 rpg) to passing (93 assists). With a positive scoring margin of 15.8 ppg, few teams play as well at both ends of the floor as UNLV.