March 1, 2004
With its 78-75 victory, UNLV improved to 16-10, 7-6 MWC and earned its 4th win in its last 5 games...New Mexico, meanwhile, fell to 14-12, 5-8 MWC and has dropped 4 of its last 5 games...the Lobos had their 5-game home winning streak snapped, finishing the season with a 14-4 mark in The Pit after going 10-7 last year...among the seven MWC opponents, UNLV has the longest current winning streak against New Mexico at 6 games...UNM has not beaten the Runnin' Rebels since an 84-81 overtime decision in The Pit on Feb. 5, 2002...UNM head coach Ritchie McKay is 0-8 in his career against UNLV
New Mexico started the game 9-13 (69.2%) from the floor en route to a 21-14 lead at the 13:34 mark...however, the Lobos hit just 19 of their last 53 shots (35.8%) of the game...UNM never trailed for the first 25:42 of the game, until Jerel Blassingame's three gave the Rebels a 49-48 lead at the 14:18 mark...the second half featured 7 lead changes and 5 ties.
UNLV's Odartey Blankston and Jerel Blassingame combined to score 21 of the Runnin' Rebels final 23 points over the last 9:59 of regulation...Demetrius Hunter's two free throws with 17.9 seconds remaining snapped a streak of 21 straight for the duo...Blankston scored 12 straight over a 2:32 span, helping the Rebels turn a 61-59 deficit into a 71-68 UNLV lead...UNLV made 7 of its last 8 FGs.
Blankston scored a career-high 28 points and pulled down 12 rebounds for his 16th double-double of the year...it was his 13th double-double in his last 19 games...Blassingame, meanwhile, matched a career-high with 13 assists.
New Mexico forced 18 turnovers on the night, the most by a Lobo opponent in 16 games when Penn State committed 20 on Dec. 29...UNLV had its most giveaways since losing 22 at Missouri on Feb. 15
UNM senior Javin Tindall scored 17 points, had 4 assists and recorded a career-high 5 steals (all in the first half) in his final home game...in two games against UNLV this season, he averaged 22 points, 4.5 assists and hit 13-19 (68.4%) threes.
The Lobo bench had 10 points, all in the first half, after scoring just 2 two days ago vs. San Diego State...Mark Walters' 8 points were his best output in 6 games since tallying 13 at SDSU on Feb. 2.
New Mexico forward Alfred Neale snapped an 0-14 drought (3+plus games) with his 3FG at the 11:42 mark of the second half.