LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) – UNLV will continue its six-game homestand and conclude its two-game MW series with New Mexico on Monday, January 18 at 6:30 p.m. The game will be televised on FS1 with the radio call available on ESPN Radio 1100 in Las Vegas.
The UNLV men’s basketball team raced out to a 12-2 lead and never looked back Saturday afternoon at the Thomas & Mack Center as the Runnin’ Rebels claimed their first Mountain West victory of the season, 77-54 over New Mexico.
Mbacke Diong led four Runnin’ Rebels in double-figure scoring with a career-high 20 points. Bryce Hamilton added 19, Nick Blake tallied a career-high 18 and Caleb Grill pitched in 10 for UNLV (3-6, 1-2).
New Mexico (4-7, 0-7) was led by Makuach Maluach’s 13 points.
STAT OF THE GAME: UNLV held the Lobos to just 33.3% shooting (17 of 51) for the game, including 3 of 18 on 3-pointers (16.7%). UNM missed all nine of its 3-point attempts in the second half.
10 3-POINTERS: UNLV made 10 3-pointers over the course of the game, marking the sixth time in its nine contests that it has eclipsed the double-digit mark in made 3s in a game.
QUOTABLE: “I was pleased with our guys’ focus and effort as we came into this game. We knew there were certain things defensively that we needed to do well to keep them out of transition, out of the paint and off the glass. I thought our guys had good focus there for the most part and really proud of Mbacke Diong. I thought he was the difference in the game when he really started to step up and control the paint on both ends, we separated. Good team win and particularly proud of Mbacke for how he played.” – UNLV head coach T.J. Otzelberger
– It was UNLV’s fifth straight win over New Mexico and third in a row against the Lobos at the Thomas & Mack Center. UNLV now leads the all-time series 38-25 and is 22-11 against the Lobos at home.- UNLV shot 50.9% from the field (29 of 57), marking the fourth time this season it has shot 50 percent or better. It was the third straight and fourth in the last five games.
– Diong was 9 of 11 from the field with six rebounds, two steals and a blocked shot.- Hamilton added a game-high and season-high tying eight rebounds and a career-high seven assists. He also recorded four steals.- Blake made four 3-pointers, tying his career high for a game.- UNLV out-rebounded UNM 36-31.- UNLV led 37-26 at halftime.- UNLV’s biggest lead was 26 with just under four minutes left in the game.- UNLV scored 34 points in the paint to UNM’s 16.- No fans were permitted to attend the game.
– UNLV has made at least one 3-pointer in a NCAA-record 1,111 straight games.