Jan. 31, 2004
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Katie Montgomery hit a pair of jumpers in the final minute and a stingy New Mexico defense held UNLV scoreless over the final 3:45 as the Lobos defeated the Lady Rebels, 70-66, in front of an announced crowd of 18,018 at The Pit on Saturday night. New Mexico (12-6, 4-1 MWC) moved to within a game of first place in the Mountain West Conference (15-3, 4-1 MWC) and snapped the Lady Rebels' 10-game winning streak.
Trailing 64-57 at the 5:10 mark, UNM gradually chipped the Lady Rebel lead down to two, 66-64, with under three minutes to play. Montgomery, whose only field goal at that point had come late in the first half, knocked down a baseline jumper to knot the game at 66 with 1:12 remaining.
Following a defensive stand on the other end of the floor, the freshman guard found herself with the ball once again as the shot clock neared zero. Driving into the lane, Montgomery leaned into a pair of UNLV defenders and heaved up a desperation shot as the shot clock horn sounded. The ball bounced a few times before finding its way through the basket to give New Mexico a 68-66 lead with 26 seconds remaining.
After a timeout, UNLV point guard Sheena Moore worked the shot clock down to five seconds , then penetrated and tried to pass the ball off in traffic. Instead, she found Lobo forward Melissa Forest, who was fouled with 2.6 seconds left. Forest, who led New Mexico with 20 points and eight rebounds, then hit both free throws to secure the UNM victory.
With the score tied at 36 at halftime, UNLV appeared to take control of the game early in the second period. The Lady Rebels used a 16-4 run to take a seemingly commanding 45-54 lead with 11:02 remaining. New Mexico, however, rallied back to within three several times before making its final push.
The first half was a see-saw affair as the two teams traded blows throughout the period. UNLV went on an 11-1 burst, holding New Mexico without a field goal for over three minutes, before the Lobos roared back.
Melissa Forest scored six points as UNM used an 11-0 burst to turn an 11-point deficit deficit into a 29-29 tie. New Mexico then scored five of the next eight points to take a 34-32 lead at the 2:23 mark, its first since holding a 7-5 advantage four minutes into the game.
New Mexico returns to the road next week for a pair of games at Colorado State (Feb. 5) and Wyoming (Feb. 7). The Lobos welcome Air Force in their next home game on Feb. 14.