“This team fights. We take a lot of pride in
it,” said UNM
head coach Steve Alford on his post game radio show.
Kirk scored nine of his 15 points in the second
pulled in seven rebounds and had three blocks – none of which were
as big as
his final one to seal the win.
With his team trailing and New Mexico having
game clock down to four seconds with a pair of well-timed fouls,
Kilpatrick threw an inbounds pass from the baseline with 4.5
seconds left, got
the ball back and shot from the right side, but Kirk was waiting
to knock it
The Bearcats got off a shot after the block and
improbably went in, but sank into the cylinder seconds after the
Kilpatrick had 15 points, but was only shot 5
of 22 from the
field as the Bearcats shot 20 of 64 overall (31.3%). Cincy, which
fell to 12-1,
finished 11 of 26 (42.3%) from three-point range but shot only 9
of 38 (23.6%)
inside the arc.
The Bearcats forced 14 turnovers from UNM, but
only turned the ball over twice in the final four minutes as the
traded leads before Tony Snell hit a jumper with 2:28 left to give
final lead – neither team managed to score the rest of the way.
UNM again shot poorly from the field – 21 of 54
the field and 7 of 19 (36.8%) – but managed to use its tough
defense to keep
the Bearcats from keeping control of the game.
“Tonight (against Cincinnati) we didn’t make a
shots,” said Alford, , whose teams are now 6-1 against their last
opponents. “These guys have a lot of fight in them. They compete
like crazy. I
just can’t say enough about them and about how pleased I am with
because they just fight every night.”
Despite forcing 14 turnovers, Cincinnati only
points off those turnovers and only scored seven points off 14
New Mexico (13-1) outscored the Bearcats 22-14
in the paint.
Cincy out-rebounded the Lobos 40-35, but UNM held the advantage on
The two teams went nearly three minutes without
a field goal
to start the game before Cincinnati burst out to a 6-0 lead on a
pair of three
pointers. UNM fought back to tie the game at 9-9 on a Cameron Bairstow lay up
but Kilpatrick answered with a trey to give the Bearcats a 12-9
lead with 12:34
left in the half. Cincy pushed the lead to 19-14 with just over
in the first half by UNM reeled them back in.
The Bearcats Jaquon Parker hit a trey with 30
and UNM trailed 26-22 at halftime.
UNM began going inside more to start the second
tied the game 31-31 on a dunk and made free throw by Kirk with
16:01 left in
the game. The teams traded baskets and leads until Kirk hit a
from the top of the key to give UNM a 40-37 lead with 12:10 left
in the game.
UNM pushed the lead to 43-37 on a Kendall Williams trey
minutes later but Cincy responded with two three pointers to tie
the game again
at 43-43. But the Lobos went up 47-43 after a Williams dunk and a
Demetrius Walker at the 9:35 mark.
The two teams battled back and forth as down
the stretch and
UC’s Cashmere Wright game the Bearcats their final lead with a
with 2:47 left in the game. But Snell responded with a jumper at
the other end
to give UNM it’s final margin of victory.
“The guys didn’t have a lot of prep for this
game because of
travel but we told our guys, ‘We blew the opportunity at home to
(but) we’re still undefeated on the road,’” said Alford. “We’re a
team, we understand winning on the road and to win this one is big
Williams scored 16 points on 5 of 11 shooting
(4 of 7 on
three pointers) to lead New Mexico while Snell added 10 points on
4 of 15
shooting with three rebounds.
Parker added 14 points and six rebounds on 5 of
with limited playing time due to foul trouble and Wright added 12