Some may blame it on a hangover, some on the fact that Paul Weir worked for Marvin Menzies before, so Menzies knew how to attack Weir’s Lobos, some blame will blame it on the return of a cold shooting stretch. Perhaps it was a mixture of it all.
The New Mexico Lobos blew a 42-35 halftime lead against UNLV Tuesday night in Albuquerque, just three days after beating #6 Nevada 85-58, and lost to the Rebels 80-69 to fall to 8-7 overall and 2-1 in the Mountain West Conference.
When Corey Manigault made a jump shot with 6:32 to play to close the gap between UNM and UNLV to 66-63, it would be until 28 seconds left to play when the Lobos would make their next field goal, and Anthony Mathis layup, and those 6:04 saw UNLV’s Kris Clyburn score nine of his game high 25 points to pull away for the victory.
New Mexico was ice cold in the second half; shooting just 24% from the field in the second 20 minutes, while UNLV shot 57%.
UNLV even played extremely good defense on UNM’s best player Anthony Mathis, holding Mathis to nine points on 3-of-14 shooting. Vance Jackson added 14 for the Lobos, who haven’t started 3-0 in MWC play since the 2015-16 season.
For UNLV all three of their MWC wins have been come from behind wins. They trailed Colorado State 71-62 with 5:23 to play only to come back to win 78-76. Against Wyoming there was one point in the first half where the Runnin’ Rebels trailed 32-25, and trailed at the half 32-30 before coming back to win 68-56. UNLV will try for a 4-0 MWC start when they play Air Force in Colorado Springs on Wednesday the 16th.
For the Lobos, the loss ends their three game winning streak, and sets up a big contest with Colorado State this coming Saturday in Fort Collins. A win for the Lobos would keep them in the MWC race early on, while a loss might spell doom with a tougher schedule for UNM coming up.