UNLV Routs New Mexico 99-78, Retains Second Place in Mountain West
UNLV was too much for an ailing New Mexico at the Thomas and Mack.
Former walk-on Marvin Coleman II scored a triple-double.
Marvin Coleman II (11 points, 12 rebounds, 11 assists, 6 steals) finished with a triple-double, and UNLV cruised past New Mexico behind a strong second half showing at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas.
It was a battle in the first half and New Mexico was up by as many as nine, but UNLV finished the half strong, and carried momentum off of a 9-0 run all the way through the second half.
The Rebels took the lead in the first after a made free throw by Donnie Tillman (7 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist), and finished the half with a Bryce Hamilton (35 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal) jumper.
Just a five point game with the Rebels maintaining the small lead with 11:57 remaining, UNLV kicked it into high gear, keeping the Lobos at bay for most of the second half, before blowing the lead wide open beginning with a couple of free throws from Jonah Antonio (14 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists) to put the rebels up 10, 78-68.
Two layups off of Lobos turnovers and a JaQuan Lyle (20 points, 3 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 steal) technical foul later and the Lobos watched a close game with 4:30 remaining become a hopeless cause with little energy (nor defensive effort) available to make the game close, eventually giving up 23 points in the last four minutes and 26 seconds.
While the Rebels looked like one of the top squads in the Mountain West, it was clear that New Mexico is ailing amidst the turmoil in the program, missing key personnel in starters Carlton Bragg (removed from the team), JJ Caldwell (suspended) and Vance Jackson (knee) and struggling to find its identity.
UNLV looks to take its hot streak to Reno on Wednesday against Nevada. New Mexico hopes to stop the bleeding in front of its home crowd, where it puts its undefeated home record on the line against San Jose State.