ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The UNLV men’s basketball team has won four straight games in Mountain West play for the first time in four years after turning in an 80-77 victory over No. 25 New Mexico at a sold-out Pit on Saturday night, also recording the regular-season sweep over the Lobos.

Three players were in double figures in scoring for the Runnin’ Rebels (13-9, 6-4). Thomas Jr. was 8 of 12 from the field, including making his only 3-point attempt, and he went 8 of 10 from the free throw line with four assists. Rob Whaley Jr. added 16 points, while Kalib Boone contributed 11.

New Mexico (19-5, 7-4) was led in scoring by Donovan Dent and Jaelen House with 20 points apiece, while Mustapha Amzil added 10. JT Toppin had game highs of 12 rebounds and five blocks.

STATS OF THE GAME: UNLV held New Mexico to just 35.4% shooting (23 of 65) and led in points in the paint, 48-26.

GAME OF RUNS: UNLV led by as many as 12 points in the first half. New Mexico cut it to three, but UNLV extended its lead to 11 at 30-19 with five minutes to play until halftime. New Mexico led by one at the half. With UNLV leading by nine with just under 15 minutes to go, New Mexico went on a 12-0 run to take a three-point lead with 11 minutes to go. From there the biggest lead was five points by UNLV.

HOW IT ENDED: With the game tied at 72 with 1:30 to go, Kalib Boone’s hook shot in the lane and Keylan Boone’s two free throws pushed the Runnin’ Rebels to a 76-72 lead. New Mexico cut it to two, but two more free throws by Keylan Boone gave UNLV a four-point advantage again with four seconds to go. A New Mexico 3-pointer cut it to one point with one second to go and Keylan Boone made two more free throws for the final margin.

QUOTABLE: “We knew New Mexico was going to go on a run. They have a lot of firepower and they did. I was just proud of our guys. They could have folded, but they didn’t – and they really haven’t this year. The guys are proving that they are competitive and they love great environments. But they understand that your reward in this conference is another tough one coming up.” – UNLV head coach Kevin Kruger.

– UNLV improved to 5-2 in its last seven games against ranked teams and has now defeated two ranked teams in the same season for the second straight year.
– The last time UNLV won four straight games in Mountain West play was during the 2019-20 season when it won each of its last five regular-season games.
– UNLV improved to 43-26 all-time against New Mexico, has won three straight against the Lobos and 10 of the last 11 meetings.
– UNLV has won two straight at The Pit (both sellouts and the Lobos were ranked in each), four of its last five there and seven of the last 10.
– It was only the second home loss of the season for New Mexico.
Justin Webster returned after missing three games with an ankle injury. UNLV continues to be without Jalen Hill, who is out of the rest of the season (ACL).
– Whaley Jr. was 7 of 13 from the field and added four rebounds and two blocks.
Kalib Boone had five rebounds and two blocks, while Keylan Boone along with Luis Rodriguez each had a team-high seven rebounds.
Brooklyn Hicks added a career-high-tying nine points on 4 of 5 from the field.
– UNLV shot 51.6% (16 of 31) in the first half and finished at 49.2% (30 of 61) for the game.
– New Mexico shot 41.9% (13 of 31) in the first half and 29.4% (10 of 34) in the second.
– The game featured eight led changes and seven ties. UNLV held the lead for over 32 minutes.
– UNLV has made at least one 3-pointer in a NCAA-record 1,215 straight games.

NEXT FOR THE RUNNIN’ REBELS: UNLV will play its second straight road game on Wednesday, Feb. 14 at Fresno State. The 8 p.m. contest will be televised nationally on CBS Sports Network. The Runnin’ Rebels’ next home game will be on Saturday, Feb. 17 vs. intrastate rival UNR at 8:30 p.m.

TICKETS: UNLV men’s basketball tickets are on sale and may be purchased at, by calling 702-739-3267 or by visiting the Thomas & Mack Center Box Office. 


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