Posted at: 11/25/2012 12:48 PM
Updated at: 11/26/2012 8:39 AM
By: Shaun Griswold, KOB.com
New Mexico opened the second half against Portland on a 9-0 run that propelled the Lobos in a rout against the Pilots 69-54 Sunday night.
Poor first half shooting (24.2% FG) left the Lobos with a trim 3-point lead at halftime.
The Lobos (6-0) also had a lethargic three point shooting night, just 2 for 19 for 10.5 percent shooting from behind the 3-point line.
Portland (2-3) had an even worse night shooting at The Pit. To start each half, it took the Pilots more than three minutes to make a field goal.
Portland’s leading scorer Ryan Nicholas finished with 8 points, but he was held to just a free throw in the first half.
Although UNM didn’t improve its long range shooting, the Lobos picked up their field goal shooting performance in the second half and continued to dominate from the free throw line.
New Mexico shot 29-38 from the free throw line, nearly twice the production (17-21) Portland received from the charity stripe.
Cameron Bairstow found the most success from the line. He was 9-10 and scored all of his points from the free throw line. He also had 11 rebounds.
Alex Kirk led the Lobos with a double double (14 points, 11 boards) in the contest.
Hugh Greenwood chipped in 10 points and Jamal Fenton scored 12 points for New Mexico.
Portland was led in scoring by Kevin Bailey and Korey Thieleke who scored 11 points each.
The New Mexico Lobos lead the Portland Pilots at halftime 30-27.
The New Mexico men’s basketball team looks to continue its impressive start to the season with a win at home against Portland.
Tonight’s 6 p.m. tip off at The Pit will be the Lobos fifth game in nine days.
A win would cement a strong argument that the Lobos (5-0) deserve to be in the discussion among the top 25 teams in college basketball.
UNM has received votes in all top 25 polls this season.
Portland (2-2) plays in the West Coast Conference and registered wins this season against Idaho State and Portland State.
The Lobos will have to contain Portland’s leading scorer and rebounder Ryan Nicholas.The 6-7 junior brings 14.3 points and 8.8. rebounds per game.
Kevin Bailey is averaging 12 points a game for the Pilots.
Kendall Williams (15.8 ppg) and Tony Snell (15.2 ppg) lead the New Mexico offense.
Center Alex Kirk has used his 7-foot frame to play big inside for the Lobos.
His 10.4 points and 7.6 rebounds per game have kept opponents from solely focusing on stopping the Lobos’ four guard set.
6 p.m. (MT)
The Pit - Albuquerque, N.M.
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