New Mexico tops UNLV, 68-56

Posted at: 02/19/2014 11:20 PM
By: Shaun Griswold,

Earlier this week New Mexico guard Kendall Williams said his team had a chance for revenge against the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels.

Revenge was served.

Williams scored 29 points and grabbed 7 rebounds as he led New Mexico to a 68-56 road win against UNLV.

The Rebels (17-9, 8-5) took the first meeting between the conference foes in Albuquerque, 76-73. The split gives New Mexico (20-5, 11-2) good separation from the rest of the teams in the Mountain West with a showdown Saturday against league leader San Diego State.

New Mexico jumped to an early lead off two long range buckets from Williams.

Despite foul trouble for Alex Kirk Cameron Bairstow, the Lobos never trailed in the contest and outrebounded the Rebels, 44-39.

The Lobos led by as much as 17 points, but UNLV went on a 14-4 run to bring the lead to single digits with less than 10 minutes to play.

UNLV couldn’t stop the hot streaking Williams.

After he took a mean swat on a drive, Williams found himself open and responded with a 3-point basket to regain the double digit lead. He then took a transition dunk to put the Lobos up 61-49 with five minutes left to play.

The Rebels had to depend on their inside game as their outside shooting never really showed up. UNLV was just 3 for 21 from the 3-point line.

Khem Birch scored 11 points and grabbed 12 rebounds for the Rebels. Roscoe Smith dropped a double double with 10 points and 10 rebounds for UNLV.

Bairstow scored 18 points and recorded 6 boards. Hugh Greenwood had an efficient stat line: 4 points, 7 assists and 4 rebounds.

The Lobos shot 45.8% from the field and held UNLV to 31.7%.