New Mexico makes a statement

The next time New Mexico takes the floor at the Thomas & Mack Center, the Lobos will be playing in the Mountain West Conference tournament, where they will be looking to improve their seeding in the NCAA tournament.

For now, after taking down UNLV on the road Wednesday with a 76-66 win, New Mexico captured sole possession of first place in the conference at 8-2 with its 22nd overall win of the season.

The Lobos nearly doubled up the Rebels on the boards, out-rebounding them 45-23. That meant solid lines all around, including Darington Hobson with 16 points and 13 rebounds and Roman Martinez with 16 points and nine rebounds.

UNLV's Tre'Von Willis was held to 13 points on 4-of-13 shooting.

With the two teams playing as ranked teams for the first time since 1978, it was a showcase game for New Mexico in a hostile environment.