New Mexico tops Valparaiso with balanced attack
Albuquerque, NM (Sports Network) - Alex Kirk scored 12 points to help No. 18 New Mexico to a 65-52 win over Valparaiso on Saturday.
Chad Adams and Demetrius Walker each posted 12 points for the Lobos (10-0), who got seven points and five rebounds from Cameron Bairstow in the win.
"I knew this was going to be a grind tonight and I thought our guys did a tremendous job in each twenty minutes guarding," New Mexico coach Steve Alford said. "We knew that they would probably slow things down a little bit which is fine. We have been able to play versatile styles. I really appreciate the effort by our guys."
Ryan Broekhoff had a game-high 24 points and seven rebounds for the Crusaders (6-3), who have dropped two of their last three.
Valparaiso led early, but a 9-0 run from New Mexico gave the team a lead it never gave back as Adams capped the burst with a 3-point play for an 11-5 advantage.
The Crusaders tied the contest on a 3-pointer from Broekhoff with under two minutes to play in the first half, but Cleveland Thomas and Nick Banyard hit a free throw and 3-pointer, respectively, to give the Lobos a 29-25 lead at the break.
An 8-0 burst early in the second half allowed New Mexico to get some space as a 3-point play from Kirk made it a 41-30 game.
Valparaiso was able to keep the game from getting out of hand, but was never able to get closer than seven points.
The last time that happened was when Erik Buggs made a layup for a 45-38 game with just under 12 minutes to play, but New Mexico got the next four points to keep some distance.
The only other meeting between these two schools was in 1959, which the Lobos also won ... Valparaiso did shoot 48.6 percent, but committed 23 turnovers ... New Mexico made 42.6 percent of its shots.
12/09 00:10:17 ET