Las Cruces, NM – Kendall Williams scored a game-high 24 points on 7-of-12 shooting and grabbed five rebounds as No. 16 New Mexico hung on for a 68-63 win over in-state rival New Mexico State on Wednesday at Pan American Center.
Hugh Greenwood added 10 points and six rebounds, while Cameron Bairstow contributed nine points and seven rebounds for the Lobos (12-0). Tony Snell chipped in with 11 points in the victory, the Lobos' second over New Mexico State in four days.
Daniel Mullings netted a team-high 13 points to go with five rebounds and five assists, while Kevin Aronis donated 12 points for the Aggies (5-6), who shot just 38.2 percent from the floor.
With the Lobos ahead 34-32 after 20 minutes, it remained a one-possession game through the first five-plus minutes of the second stanza, until New Mexico gave itself some breathing room.
With the game tied, 41-41, Snell went on a personal 6-0 run and Nick Banyard added a jumper with 12:04 to go, which gave the Lobos a 49-41 advantage.
Remi Barry connected on a jumper and Aronis followed with a trey to cut the deficit to 49-46 with 10:50 left.
A layup by Mullings with seven minutes left made it a 54-51 New Mexico lead, but both teams went ice cold from the floor after that.
It stayed 54-51 until Williams sank a pair of free throws with 4 1/2 minutes left, pushing the Lobos' lead to 56-51.
Sim Bhullar hit a layup with 2:19 to play, cutting the New Mexico advantage to 61-56, but the visitors held on for the victory.
New Mexico jumped out to a quick 8-4 lead less than four minutes into the game, but the Aggies responded with a 13-2 burst, capped by a Barry 3-ball, to snag a 17-10 advantage with just over 12 minutes to play in the first half.
Tyrone Watson buried a trey later in the half to give New Mexico State a seemingly comfortable 25-14 lead.
But, the visitors rallied with a 16-5 outburst, capped by a Williams jumper with 2:39 left in the half, to tie the contest, 30-30.
New Mexico now owns a 115-95 advantage in the all-time series ... The Aggies have not beaten a ranked opponent since Jan. 20 2007, when they handed Nevada an 80-73 setback ... The Aggies struggled from the free throw line, hitting just 11-of-20 attempts.