Posted at: 01/15/2014 9:37 PM
Updated at: 01/16/2014 1:26 PM
By: Shaun Griswold, KOB.com
A wild game Wednesday night in the Pit ended with a 76-73 UNLV win over New Mexico.
The Runnin’ Rebels held on to the win after they ran to an early 16 point lead in the first half. New Mexico (12-4, 3-1) cut the lead to four points entering halftime and stayed close enough with UNLV (11-6, 2-2) for a last second shot to take the game into overtime.
However, it wasn’t in the cards for the Lobos.
Cullen Neal missed the three point attempt with less than a second to play and the Rebels snapped their two game losing streak.
Bryce Dejean-Jones led UNLV with 23 points, much of it from the free throw line where he was 11 for 13 in the game.
The Rebels (21-27) won a rare free throw battle in the Pit against New Mexico (19-22).
Cameron Bairstow saw the bench early due to foul trouble but he was needed on the court as the Rebels took over the game. He finished with 27 points and 6 rebounds.
Alex Kirk also played with foul trouble, but despite the struggles he finished with another double double (12 pts, 11 rebs).
UNLV’s Roscoe Smith, the nation’s leading rebounder, had 8 boards and 4 points. Forward Khem Birch had 11 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Rebels.
The Rebels were 7-13 from 3-point territory, led by a 4 for 5 shooting effort by Kevin Olekaibe.
Kendall Williams had 15 points and 9 assists for New Mexico.