LAS VEGAS (AP) — New Mexico won its quarterfinal matchup in the Mountain West Conference tournament despite a sluggish stretch in what seemed like a home game.
Tony Snell scored 15 points and the No. 15 Lobos led from start to finish, beating Wyoming 59-46 on Wednesday night.
Cameron Bairstow added 14 and eight rebounds for top-seeded New Mexico (27-5), which will play San Diego State in the semifinals Friday.
“I guess in the eyes of the beholder of what’s pretty and ugly,” New Mexico coach Steve Alford said. “In March, when you win by 13 — to me — it’s pretty.”
The Lobos traveled well, bringing about 4,000 fans to the Thomas & Mack Center, home of third-seeded UNLV. At times Wednesday night, the Rebels’ home court felt like The Pit in Albuquerque.
The teams could meet in the final Saturday after the No. 3 Rebels won their quarterfinal against Air Force. earlier Wednesday. UNLV plays No. 2 seed Colorado State on Friday.
“(Our) fans are definitely a big part of how we play,” Snell said. “They give us energy to play better and pick each other up. We tried to be aggressive from the start, and try to be a threat out there. But we can never win games without having defensive stops.”