Rebels hand Lobos first conference loss of the season

New Mexico received its first conference loss of the season on Tuesday night with an 80-69 result in favor of UNLV. Scott Forman/The Lobo Lair

Isabel Gonzalez

New Mexico head coach Paul Weir did not stay in the locker room very long after his team lost 80-69 to UNLV. When asked about what he told his players, he gave a message that was simple and to the point. 

“See you at 5am,” he said.

The Lobos had gotten some buzz after handing the then-No. 5-6 Nevada Wolf Pack its first loss of the season on Saturday. They were even selected as NBC Sports’ Team of the Week. But fans left disappointed after New Mexico failed to keep that momentum going on Tuesday night. 

Anthony Mathis, the team’s lead scorer and latest Mountain West Player of the Week, played almost 39 minutes but only managed to score nine points with his 3-of-14 shooting from the field.

Mathis spent a lot of time at the point guard position. Freshman Drue Drinnon, also a point guard, only saw seven minutes in the first half and  none in the second. The team’s third point guard, redshirt sophomore Keith McGee, didn’t check into the game at all.

When asked about his point guards’ playing time for Tuesday’s game, Weir avoided talking about Drinnon and McGee. Instead, he only mentioned Mathis.

The first half wasn’t particularly brilliant but New Mexico still held a 42-35 lead. However, the second period did not go as well for the home team.

The Lobos went from shooting at 56.7 percent from the field during the first half, to 24.0 percent in the second. Meanwhile, the Rebels went from 42.9 percent to 57.1.

Box score.

The game never looked like it would be a blowout for either side as the lead changed 17 times. Eleven points was the largest lead of the night and it belonged to the winning team.

WIth Tuesday’s result, New Mexico falls to 8-7 overall and 2-1 in the Mountain West conference. The Lobos are also back to a losing record in Albuquerque with a 5-4 home record.

UNLV improves to 9-0, 3-0 MW. This earns the Rebels the No. 1 spot in the conference.