New Mexico wins 2nd straight Mountain West championship 63-56 over UNLV

The in Las Vegas, Nevada on October 19, 2011.
The in Las Vegas, Nevada on October 19, 2011. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

New Mexico defeats UNLV 63-56

With the game hanging in the balance, New Mexico’s Tony Snell kept coming through.

The New Mexico junior scored 21 points on 8-11 shooting to lead New Mexico to its second straight Mountain West championship 63-56 over UNLV.

New Mexico weathered an early Anthony Bennett barrage with balanced scoring to take a 34-32 lead at halftime of the Mountain West tournament championship game.

Bennett scored UNLV’s first 11 points of the game without missing a field goal.

The Lobos lead by as many as six in the half, but UNLV freshman Kaitin Reinhardt drained a 3-pointer as time expired to cut the lead to one possession.

Semi-finals

UNLV bests CSU 75-65

Freshman guard Katin Reinhardt scored 21 points and UNLV defeated CSU 75-65in the second Mountain West tournament semifinal.

The Rebels lead by as many as 13, but CSU the gap to as little as one during the second half.

The Rams never took the lead in the second half, despite coming within one possession several times.

Senior center Colton Iverson scored 24 points and grabbed 16 rebounds while shooting an efficient 6-8 from the free throw line.

CSU bounced back from a 1-7 start from beyond the arc to shoot 34.6 percent from three-point range.

The game featured 43 total fouls and 52 free throws. UNLV made 26-35 while CSU hit11-17.

New Mexico beats SDSU 60-50

Junior guard Tony Snell scored 17 points and New Mexico defeated San Diego State 60-50 to advance to its second consecutive Mountain West tournament final.

Three Lobos scored in double figures and the team held the Aztecs to 31.3 percent shooting from the field.

New Mexico executed better in an ugly first half to lead SDSU 29-20 at halftime.

Neither team shot better than 40 percent from the field and combined for nine turnovers in the first 20 minutes.

The Lobos play the winner of the UNLV-CSU game Saturday at 4 p.m. MT on CBS.

Quarterfinals

SDSU defeats Boise State 73-67

San Diego State held off a furious Boise State rally to advance to the semifinals of the Mountain West tournament.

The Broncos trailed by 13 with 11:48 remaining in the game, but came back to take a one point lead with 8:28 to go.

Junior guard Jamaal Franklin lead three San Diego State players in double figures with 19 points and also grabbed eight rebounds.

The Aztecs shot 46.7 percent from the field and held Boise State to 34.9 percent while forcing 12 turnovers.

The Broncos only made 25 percent of their three point attempts after leading the Mountain West at 39.3 percent in the regular season.

New Mexico beats Wyoming 59-46

Top seeded New Mexico looked comfortable in its 59-46 win against Wyoming, and it’s no wonder when most of the arena’s lower bowl was decked out in red cheering for them.

The Lobos only made five field goals in the second half, but hit 15-22 free throws during the same period to hold off Wyoming.

The Cowboys played the game’s last 7:21 without leading scorer Leonard Washington after he fouled out. Washington accumulated three fouls in the first half and finished with six points and six rebounds.

The Lobos lead Wyoming 34-24 at halftime of the Mountain West championships behind 11 points from junior guard Tony Snell and 67 percent shooting from behind the three-point line.

Wyoming allowed 18 points in the paint and turned the ball over 10 times compared to New Mexico’s nine.

The Lobos play the winner of Boise State vs San Diego State at 6:00 P.M. Pacific time on Friday.

CSU beats Fresno State 67-61

CSU’s bench stepped up in critical moments when the Rams missed starting point guard Dorian Green.

Backups Daniel Bejarano and Gerson Santo combined for 18 points to lead the Rams to a 67-61 win over Fresno State in the first round of the Mountain West tournament.

Senior guard Wes Eikmeier also made his presence felt in the second half by scoring 16 of his 18 points after halftime and hitting the game-sealing 3-pointer with 1:02 remaining.

The Rams trailed Fresno State 26-29 at halftime after shooting 34.6 percent from the field.

Fresno State hit 4-8 from behind the three point line and every Bulldog that entered the game scored.

Junior guard Tyler Johnson led the Bulldogs with 14 points.

CSU senior forward Greg Smith was aggressive early with nine points and five rebounds for the Rams, but got into foul trouble in the second half and spent much of it on the bench.

Fresno State out-rebounded CSU for much of the game, but the Rams lead 18-15 on the boards at halftime.

The Rams play UNLV in the Mountain West tournament quarterfinals Friday at 9:30 p.m.

UNLV defeats Air Force 72-56

Once Anthony Bennett got going, there was nothing Air Force could do.

The freshman forward scored 23 points, 19 of them in the second half, to give UNLV a 72-56 win over Air Force in the first round of the Mountain West tournament.

UNLV lead Air Force 33-20 at halftime behind six points and seven rebounds from junior forward Mike Moser.

Moser finished with nine points and 10 rebounds.

Air Force turned the ball over 15 times, which lead to 15 points for UNLV.

The Rebels gave the ball away nine times, just twice in the first half, and shot 50.8 percent from the field.

Air Force senior and Mountain West leading scorer Michael Lyons left the game after playing just two minutes due to an ankle sprain. His return is questionable.

Both freshman forward Anthony Bennett and sophomore Bryce Dejean-Jones sat most of the first half with foul trouble.

UNLV will play CSU Friday at 9:30 p.m. on CBS Sports Network.