The win moved UNM to 15-2 on the year and 2-0,
setting up a
battle of Moutnain West Conference undfeateds when the Lobos
travel to play
upstart Boise St. (1-0 MWC) in Boise Wednesday.
“It was a great win,” said head coach Steve Alford. “We
needed to get this thing to 2-0 and get it started well. We
haven't had a
chance to do that in a long time. We've normally been slow
starters in the his
league race, so it's nice to wake up Monday morning and know we're
atop of the
league and that the series has been reduced by two games.”
New Mexico went against the Bulldogs Saturday
starting guard Kendall Williams – who was benched on a one-game
and reserve guards Demetrius Walker and Chris Perez. Williams
dressed but was
ill and did not play while Perez was sent home sick.
In their absence, Kirk posted his fourth
the season by scoring a game-high 19 points and pulling in 14
Bairstow scored 15 of his 16 points in the first half to lead UNM
to a 39-22
Guard Tony Snell broke out with 16 points and
showing a more aggressive, slashing style and senior Jamal Fenton
points in a season-high 25 minutes of play.
Marvelle Harris was the only Fresno player in
figures, finishing with 11 points on 3 of 11 shooting. The
Bulldogs were kept
in check by the staunch and suffocating Lobo defense, shooting
just 16 of 48
(33%) for the game and 5 of 20 (25%) from three point range.
By contrast, New Mexico shot the best it has in
month, hitting 29 of 59 (49.2%). The Lobos vastly outscored FSU in
to the tune of 42-14 and dominated on second chance points,
“I thought defense had a lot to do with (FSU’s
percentage,)” said Alford. “To hold them to 22 of 23, 33 percent
guys ave done a really good job of being tough and doing the
things we want to
do defensively. And I thought making it hard on them to score
would be a big
key in this game and we did that.”
The Lobos traded baskets with Fresno St. early
but then went
on a 8-3 run capped by a lay up by Bairstow to take a 17-8 lead
with 12:37 left
in the first half. The Lobos controlled the pace and action much
of the half
then closed the half on a 10-2 run to take a 17-point lead into
UNM held a a minimum lead of 18 points for much
second half before finishing on a 10-1 run.
KENDALL WILLIAMS’ BENCHED: Kendall Williams has missed a start for the second time
Saturday, benched for all 40 minutes by head coach Steve Alford.
It was the
sixth time in the last two season's the junior, who is
considered a team leader
by fans and the team alike, has sat due to his tardiness. But it
was the first
full-game suspension for Williams in his career at UNM.
"He was late," said UNM head coach Steve
"I've tried a lot of different things... so this (benching him)
The benching comes just days after Williams was
named to a
Bob Cousy Award finalist. Ironically Williams found out he had
made the Cousy
Award watch list just before the Lobos' loss to the South Dakota
Alford said Saturday after the game that
Williams was late
for a team meeting Friday night and was told Friday night he would
not play Saturda.
Asked if benching was a "flat one game suspension," Alford was
"I don't know if I want to say it's a flat one
(suspension)," said Alford. "I guess that's yet be determined. But
was not going to play him today."