New Mexico defeats Marquette in Vegas, 75-68

Posted at: 12/21/2013 9:31 PM
Updated at: 12/21/2013 9:32 PM
By: Shaun Griswold,

New Mexico rode the hot hand of freshman Cullen Neal to a 75-68 win over Marquette at the MGM Grand Classic in Las Vegas.

Neal shot a career high 6-8 from 3-point land and led New Mexico (8-3) with 24 points.

The Lobos took an early 7-0 lead to start the game, however Marquette (7-5) went into the half ahead 37-30. Big second half shooting brought the Lobos back into the game.

New Mexico shot 50 percent from the field in the second half versus Marquette, who made just 36 percent in the same time frame. Jake Thomas led Marquette with 17 points.

Jamil Wilson scored 15 points for the Golden Eagles.

The Lobos were without starting point guard Hugh Greenwood for the second straight game due to injury. A breakout game by Neal and guard Dehawn Delaney (10 points, 10 rebounds) kept New Mexico from falling too far behind.

Cameron Bairstow continued to shine for New Mexico. He had 20 points and 10 rebounds. Kendall Williams scored 14 points in 36 minutes of play.

Williams hit a 3-point shot to tie the game at 56-56 with 8 minutes in the game.

Marquette took a 60-59 lead with 6 minutes left.

A free throw by Delaney tied it and a bucket by Bairstow propelled a 15-8 run by the Lobos to bookend the game.