Albuquerque, NM, United States (4E Sports) – Kendall Williams scored five of New Mexico’s eight points in the last 2:15, including a go-ahead three-pointer, to lift the No. 25 Lobos past No. 24 UNLV, 65-60, Wednesday in the opener of the Mountain West Conference at University Arena.
Sophomore center Alex Kirk scored 23 points and grabbed nine boards for the Lobos, who improved to 14-2. Tony Snell finished with 13 points and Williams added 11 for New Mexico.
Khem Birch and Anthony Bennett scored 12 points apiece for the Rebels, who lost two of their last four games and dropped to 13-3.
The Rebels were leading 58-57 when Williams sank a three-pointer to push the Lobos ahead, 60-58.
In the ensuing play, Snell stole the ball from Bennett but Williams missed a three-pointer.
Luckily for the Lobos, Hugh Greenwood grabbed the offensive board and Williams was fouled by Anthony Marshall.
Williams made the first and missed the second foul shot but Cameron Bairstow grabbed an offensive board.
Marshall was forced to give up a foul on Williams, who split his charities to give the Lobos a 62-58 advantage, with 36 seconds remaining in the game.
Marshall atoned for his foul, making a layup to bring the Rebels within 62-60 but Snell split his charities for a 63-60 cushion.
Katin Reinhardt missed a potential game-tying three-pointer and Birch committed a foul on Greenwood, who muffed two charities to give the Rebels another crack at tying the game.
However, Williams stole the ball from Marshall, who gave up a foul on Snell to stop the clock. Snell wrapped up the victory with two foul shot.