Posted: 5:27 p.m. Saturday, March 16, 2013
By Kenn Rodriguez
The top-seeded New Mexico Lobos lead the 3-seed UNLV Runnin' Rebels by just a deuce in the 2013 Mountain West Conference Tournament championship game Saturday afternoon after an epic display of defending and timely shooting by both teams in the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nev.
The Lobos wre poised to take a five-point lead into half time but the Rebels set up a final play in the last 20 seconds and freshman Katin Reinhardt hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to cut the Lobos' lead to 34-32 going into the break.
New Mexico had no answer for likely one-and-done freshman Anthony Marshall, who scored all 12 UNLV points in the early going as the Rebels and Lobos battled for an edge. But the Lobos defense was finally able to clamp down on the Rebels and Bennett scored just 1 point the rest of the way.
UNM got some separation from the Lobos when sophomore Hugh Greenwood hit back-to-back threes sparked a 10-2 run that gave New Mexico a 23-17 lead with 9:42 left in the first half UNLV was able to keep the lead from growing however, and outscored UNM 7-3 in the final7 minutes.
Bennett leads all scorers at the break with 13 points and five rebounds. Anthony Marshal and Reinhadrt have eight and six points respectively for UNLV. UNM is being paced by Greenwood's nine points on 3-3 shooting on 3-pointers. Tony Snell has eight points on 3-4 shooting and Cameron Bairstow has six points and two rebounds.
The game set a new record for MWC championship game attendance with 18,500 in attendance - a sell out.