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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Seniors Cameron Bairstow and Kendall Williams put on a show in their final home game for No. 21 New Mexico, combining for 34 points Wednesday night to lead the Lobos to an 80-52 victory over Air Force.
Bairstow finished with 21 points and seven rebounds and Williams had 13 points for New Mexico (24-5, 15-2 Mountain West). The Lobos finish the regular season on Saturday at No. 10 San Diego State, the team they started the night tied for first place with in the conference.
Leading 27-20, the Lobos closed the first half on a 7-0 run capped by a buzzer-beating dunk from Alex Kirk on an inbounds play for a 34-20 lead.
The Falcons (11-17, 5-12) shot 34.5 percent from the field (19 for 55), with leading scorer Tre' Coggins going 3 for 13 while scoring 11 points. He didn't make his first basket until 2 minutes into the second half. Justin Hammonds also scored 11 points, nine coming in the first half.
New Mexico's scrambling defense prevented Air Force from getting into its patient, half-court offense and limited the Falcons' ability to establish the backdoor cuts that are the basis of the offense.
And the Lobos made up for a lackluster shooting effort in the first half by hitting 18 of 30 in the second half. New Mexico had six players hitting at least one 3-pointer.
Bairstow, a Mountain West Conference player of the year candidate, finished off his night with just the second 3-pointer of his career. He left to a standing ovation with 5:26 remaining and New Mexico leading 71-40.