Posted at: 02/01/2014 8:01 PM
Updated at: 02/01/2014 11:53 PM
By: Shaun Griswold, KOB.com
In his return to the starting lineup, Alex Kirk scored 13 points and grabbed 4 rebounds as New Mexico defeated San Jose State 72-47.
Kirk played 19 minutes after sitting out the last two games on the bench with an injury. It was obvious from the start his presence in the paint for the Lobos (17-4, 7-1) would be bad news for the smaller Spartans.
A desperation 3-point shot would the only points San Jose State (6-16, 0-9) put on the board early as New Mexico (17-4, 7-1) jumped to a 17-3 lead.
The inside presence of Kirk and Cameron Bairstow (14 pts, 7 reb) continued to force poor outside shots for San Jose State in the second half. The Spartans opened the second half just 1 for 10 from the field.
A dunk by San Jose State center Chris Cunningham with 9:27 in the second half was the first points New Mexico allowed in the paint since halfway through the first half.
Kendall Williams (11 pts, 5 assists, 4 reb) and Cleveland Thomas (8 pts) propelled the Lobos outside game. The pair combined for 12 points made from behind the 3-point line.
San Jose State’s led Rashard Muhammad scored 15 points on 3 for 8 shooting. Jalen James scored 11 points for the Spartans.