In a battle between two of the Mountain West's best teams, the New Mexico Lobos clamped down on the defensive end in the second half and blew out No. 11-ranked UNLV 65-45 in Albuquerque on Saturday. After trailing by one at the half, the Lobos held UNLV to just 18 points in the second to cruise to the comfortable "upset" win. They have now won their last seven games and lead the ranked Rebels by two games in the conference standings. UNLV has dropped three of their past four games.
Drew Gordon dominated the game for New Mexico, controlling the paint for a 20-20 performance. He scored 27 points on 13 of 22 from the floor while pulling down 20 rebounds against a Rebels front line that was simply overmatched. Gordon was the first MWC player with a 20-20 game in five years, putting up what could be the game of the year in the conference. Along with Gordon, the story of the game was New Mexico's defense which held UNLV to just 31 percent shooting from the floor and forced 15 turnovers.
New Mexico now travels to Colorado State while the Rebels will go looking for answers on Wednesday night when they host conference cellar dweller Boise State.
For more news, analysis, and discussion on New Mexico and UNLV, visit Mountain West Connection, SB Nation's MWC blog.