New Mexico 64

(17-13, 8-8 MW)


(17-12, 10-6 MW)

    4:30 PM ET, March 9, 2006

    Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado

    1 2 T
    UNM 34 3064
    UNLV 24 4165

    Top Performers

    New Mexico: J. Hart 15 Pts, 2 Reb, 1 Ast, 5 Stl

    UNLV: W. White 14 Pts, 8 Reb, 4 Stl, 1 Blk

    UNLV rallies past Lobos into Mountain West semis

    DENVER (AP) -- Jason Petrimoulx broke his left foot against New Mexico a week ago and his replacement broke the Lobos' hearts Thursday.

    Ricky Morgan sank two free throws with 16 seconds left to cap a comeback from a 13-point second-half deficit and give UNLV a 65-64 win over the Lobos in the Mountain West Conference quarterfinals.

    "Ricky is a gamer," Rebels coach Lon Kruger said of his stand-in point guard who played a grueling 38 minutes in which he led a fullcourt press when he wasn't running the offense.

    Morgan led the Rebels with 16 points after scoring 12 of his team's first 16.

    His two free throws at the end erased the last remnants of the Rebels' 43-30 deficit with 16:16 left, a charge that was fueled by a tenacious fullcourt press, New Mexico's poor free-throw shooting and several close calls that went UNLV's way in the final few minutes.

    "We work on free throws every day in practice," Morgan said. "Every time we get a little break, we're down there splitting it up, red team and black team shooting free throws."

    After a timeout, Lobos senior Jeff Hart, a former walk-on who set a career high with five steals and tied a career high with 15 points on five 3-pointers, shot a hurried air ball from beyond the arc.

    "That was the last guy we expected to take it," said UNLV swingman Curtis Terry. "We thought they would take it inside, but with all of the confusion he was left open."

    A wild scramble for the rebound ensued underneath the basket and Lobos guard Kris Collins ended up with the ball at midcourt but his desperation heave was way short as the buzzer sounded.

    Collins ripped off his jersey in despair as the Lobos (17-13), the defending conference tournament champion, saw its slim NCAA hopes erased.

    The Rebels (17-12) advanced to play top-seeded San Diego State (22-8) in the semifinals Friday night at the Pepsi Center.

    "I think we match up well with them," Rebels forward Louis Amundson said. "It's going to be a good game for sure."

    It will be hard-pressed to match the intensity and excitement of this one.

    New Mexico coach Ritchie McKay set up several options for the Lobos' last possession during a timeout but the inside was flooded with defenders and Hart got the ball when he came free on the right wing.

    "I ended up with it, had a pretty good look, missed it," Hart said.

    And the Lobos were left to lament their 5-of-12 performance at the stripe.

    "It would have been nice to knock a few down," Hart said.

    After UNLV tied it at 62 on Wendell White's jumper with 2:06 remaining, Tony Dandridge (11 points) restored New Mexico's lead with a 15-foot jumper. Amundson hit one of two free throws to pull the Rebels to 64-63 with 1:12 remaining.

    Dandridge was fouled with 24 seconds left but missed both free throws and White grabbed the rebound for the Rebels. And Hart fouled Morgan, whose two free throws gave the Rebels their first lead since 4-3.

    The Lobos had taken a 34-24 halftime lead despite foul trouble from David Chiotti, their best post player. Hart sank a trio of 3-pointers in the final six minutes of the first half to give the Lobos a double-digit cushion they maintained until the Rebels began their charge with seven minutes left.

    Chiotti finished with 6 points, half his average, in 20 minutes and New Mexico's leading scorer, guard Mark Walters, was limited to 8 points, about half his usual output.

    "It was hard when Chiotti's not in there," Walters said. "He's in foul trouble most of the game. So, when he's not in there, just inside all that attention that he usually draws, we're missing that."

    White scored 14 points, Amundson 11 and Adams 10 as the Rebels avenged a 47-39 loss to the Lobos in Albuquerque on March 1 when they shot a season-worst 24 percent, matched their lowest output in the program's history and lost Petrimoulx.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 64 65
    FG Made-Attempted 25-50 (.500) 26-52 (.500)
    3P Made-Attempted 9-19 (.474) 4-14 (.286)
    FT Made-Attempted 5-12 (.417) 9-12 (.750)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 17 (0/0) 16 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 13 1

    2005-06 Season

    Jan 28, 2006 @UNLV 67, UNM 56Recap
    Mar 1, 2006 @UNM 47, UNLV 39Recap
    » Mar 9, 2006 @UNLV 65, UNM 64Recap