New Mexico to battle UNLV in Mountain West Conference opener

Posted at: 01/09/2013 4:32 PM
By: Shaun Griswold, KOB.com

A new year brings a new season for the New Mexico Lobos men’s basketball team.

The No. 25 Lobos will host the No. 24 UNLV Runnin’ Rebels in the Mountain West Conference season opener for both teams Wednesday night in The Pit.

The Lobos (13-2) are bit of a mystery at this point.

In its final three games in 2012 New Mexico was stunned (70-65 loss to South Dakota State at home), regained composure (55-54 win at then No. 8 Cincinnati) and then fell face first into the ground against St. Louis.

The Billikins scored 30 points off 21 New Mexico turnovers in a 60-46 route on New Year’s Eve.

UNLV (13-2) is the perfect barometer to test which direction the Lobos are headed this season.

Anthony Bennett, among the best college basketball freshman in the country right now, leads the Rebels. His 19.9 points per game is the best in the Mountain West, and tops among his freshman class nationally. He is also banging 9.1 boards a game and has a double-double in 15 straight games.

New Mexico head coach Steve Alford is 2-3 in conference openers and 5-6 overall against UNLV.

The Lobos defeated UNLV 72-67 in the conference tournament semifinals, the loss was the only blemish on the Rebel’s home record last season.

Kendall Williams leads the Lobos with 14.9 points per game, Tony Snell is averaging 11.5 points per game and Alex Kirk is scoring 11.2 points, along with 7.2 rebounds per game.

8 p.m.

(MT) The Pit - Albuquerque, N.M.

TV: CBS Sports Network (Dish 158, DirectTV 613, Comcast 274)

RADIO: 770 KKOB-AM

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