New Mexico knocks off UNLV, wins 2013 Mountain West basketball tournament

Jeff Bottari

New Mexico defeated UNLV to win the Mountain West Tournament and NCAA automatic berth.

The New Mexico Lobos defeated the UNLV Runnin' Rebels, 63-56, to win the 2013 Mountain West Conference Tournament.

The Rebels started the game off hot thanks to Anthony Bennett. Bennett scored the team's first 11 points and finished the first half with 13. Other than Bennett, though, UNLV had trouble finding the bucket, shooting 36.7 percent from the field in the first half. The Lobos went into halftime up 34-32.

In the second half, UNLV went completely ice-cold. Save for an eight point run by Bryce Dejean-Jones, the Rebels couldn't buy a basket. A 12-3 New Mexico run at the 3:48 mark effectively sealed the game. Dejean-Jones had a valiant effort late in the game, sinking two straight three-pointers to get the Rebels within three points with two minutes left, but it was too little, too late. The Lobos made 46 percent of their field goals and sank 9 of 19 of three pointers, while UNLV managed just 33.9 percent.

Tony Snell led the Lobos with 21 points and Hugh Greenwood grabbed seven rebounds. After Bennett's hot start, he only got two points in the second half and finished with 15 to go with 11 rebounds. Dejean-Jones led the Rebels with 19 points.

New Mexico was already a lock for the NCAA tournament, but with the automatic bid they can rest easy on Selection Sunday. They're in good position for a No. 2 seed. UNLV will also be dancing next week, and this loss shouldn't hurt their prospects.

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