ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Lobos guard Anthony Mathis made back to back three point buckets late in the game to give New Mexico an 85-81 win at UNLV Wednesday night. The game was billed as the teacher against the student as UNM coach Paul Weir faced off with the Rebels coach Marvin Menzies. Weir was an assistant on Menzies’ staff for 9 seasons at New Mexico State.
That storyline was blown away when Mathis erased the large part of a five-point deficit for New Mexico with just over a minute to play in the game. Mathis banked in a long three-point shot and was fouled on the play. After converting the free throw the Lobos only found themselves down one 81-80. Mathis would strike again with only 11.7 seconds left in the game, hitting a three that proved to be the game-winner.
Mathis finished with 14 points and was 3 of 9 from three-point range. Lobos freshman Makuach Maluach finished with a team-high 19 points on 7 of 12 shooting for the Lobos. It was Maluach who kept the Lobos in the game in the second half. During one stretch he hit back to back three point shots to help erase what was also a five-point deficit. Lobos forward Joe Furstinger helped the cherry and silver get off to a fast start in the first half of the game. He scored ten first-half points and finished with 14 for the game. Furstinger also pulled down 9 rebounds as he came one short of a double-double.
The two teams went to halftime tied at 35. The Rebels appeared to be poised to close the Lobos out in the second half, but every time the Lobos would fall behind they would come right back with balanced scoring. Six Lobos scored in double figures with Antino Jackson scoring 14 points and Vladimir Pinchuk adding 10. Jordan Johnson led the Rebels with 19 points. Javon Mooring had 18 points while Shakur Juston contributed 14 points and 14 rebounds in a losing effort.
The Rebels are now 13-5 overall and 2-3 in Mountain West play. The win gave the Lobos their first victory away from home this season and improved their record to 9-11 overall and 4-3 in conference. The Lobos will host San Diego State Saturday at 5 p.m. mountain time. UNLV is at Colorado State Saturday and has a 2 p.m. mountain time start.