ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP)Four UNLV players scored at least 16 points, led by Bryce Hamilton and Elijah Mitrou-Long with 17 each, as the Runnin’ Rebels beat New Mexico 78-73 on Saturday.
Amauri Hardy and Marvin Coleman each had 16 points for UNLV (13-14, 8-6 Mountain West).
The Lobos (17-10, 6-8), who have lost six of their past eight games, got 19 points from Makuach Maluach and 17 from Corey Manigault.
The game was tight throughout and a Zane Martin basket with 5:55 remaining in the game pulled the Lobos even at 66. But buckets from Hardy and Mitrou-Long put the Rebels ahead to stay.
New Mexico had its chances in the closing minutes, but it missed six foul shots in the final 5 minutes. In all, the Lobos were 23 for 34 from the foul line.
Martin’s 3-pointer with 3.5 seconds left and a chance to tie was well off the mark. He went 1 for 7 from beyond the arc in the game.
UNLV: The Rebels had been in a deep slide after starting off conference play 6-1, having lost five of six. This win was an important one because it puts UNLV ahead of New Mexico for sixth place and a chance to avoid the conference tournament play-in game that the sixth through 11th-place teams must undergo.
New Mexico: The Lobos have been the conference’s most inconsistent team, and now have lost at home for just the second time in 16 games. It appears the Lobos are destined for a play-in game, although the play-in winner from the 6-11 and 7-10 games will end up in the opposite bracket from Mountain West behemoth No. 4 San Diego State.
UNLV: The Rebels are home Feb. 18 against Colorado State.
New Mexico: The Lobos are home Feb. 18 against Nevada.
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