• My Scores
  • NHL
  • NFL
  • NBA
  • NCAA BB
  • Golf

South Dakota State vs New Mexico

Time: 02:30 P.M. EST
  •  

With Kendall Williams leading the way, New Mexico is on the verge of its best start in 45 seasons.

The No. 16 Lobos try to open 13-0 for just the second time in school history Saturday as they host Nate Wolters and South Dakota State.

New Mexico, which won its first 17 games in 1967-68, also began 12-0 three seasons ago but lost its 13th game at Oral Roberts. The Lobos pulled out a tough road game Wednesday, winning 68-63 at New Mexico State to complete a home-and-home sweep.

"I can't speak enough of our team. We just find ways to do it," coach Steve Alford said. "You come into somebody's building and you hold them to 63 points and (38.2) percent shooting, you are doing a lot of good things. We have a tough group, a solid group that understands winning. They just perform."

After rolling his right ankle early in Wednesday's game and sitting out the next five minutes, Williams returned and finished with a career best-tying 24 points. The junior leads New Mexico with 14.3 points per game and ranks first in the Mountain West in averaging 5.1 assists.

"He came back and was just terrific," Alford said. "Best player on the floor. Kendall Williams is extremely talented. He had a big game for us both offensively and defensively. He was a great leader. He is playing at a very, very high level."

Williams now tries to help New Mexico extend its home winning streak over non-conference foes to 15. The Lobos, who've outscored opponents by an average of 19.2 points during that run, are 89-4 in such games dating to 2003.

While the home crowd figures to give New Mexico an edge Saturday, the Jackrabbits (9-4) aren't strangers to playing in The Pit. No. 14 seed South Dakota State fell 68-60 to third-seeded Baylor in last season's NCAA tournament in Albuquerque.

The Jackrabbits had won eight of nine before getting blown out 76-49 at Belmont on Wednesday. The game was tied at 37 with just over 12 minutes to go before the Bruins, who held a 43-30 rebounding edge, pulled away behind an 18-0 run. South Dakota State shot 27.0 percent - its lowest mark since moving to Division I in 2004-05.

"You could see that we didn't have great energy, we were down on the glass, we had our hands on every loose ball but couldn't get to them, and that ties into the energy factor," coach Scott Nagy told the school's official website after his team fell to 1-4 in true road games.

Wolters is averaging a team-high 19.3 points and a Summit League-best 5.7 assists, but he posted just 13 and three, respectively, Wednesday. The conference's preseason player of the year has gone 24 of 76 (31.6 percent) from the field over his last five games - a significant drop from the 54.9 percent mark he posted over his first six.

Despite those struggles, Alford knows slowing down Wolters won't be easy.

"He's a very good player. He uses the ball screen well and is crafty with the dribble," Alford said. "He has the ball in his hands an awful lot."

Wolters will be looking to come out strong in his first matchup against a ranked team this season. He was forced to sit out an 88-64 loss at then-No. 14 Minnesota on Dec. 4 due to a sprained right ankle.

Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
College Basketball Current Odds
GameCurrent Line
South Dakota State
@ New Mexico
 
-15.5
Summit League
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
S. Dak. St.8-217-7118
No. Dak. St.6-214-7160
Oral Roberts5-312-10193
IUPUI4-48-14209
IPFW4-511-11259
South Dakota4-510-13232
Western Ill.3-58-11304
Denver3-69-13222
Nebraska Omaha2-78-13307
Mountain West
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Wyoming7-218-476
San Diego St7-217-529
Colorado St.6-319-332
New Mexico6-314-795
Boise St.5-315-649
Utah St.5-412-9166
Fresno St.5-49-12226
UNLV4-513-9106
Nevada2-66-14310
Air Force2-89-12280
San Jose St.0-92-19333

Related Video

 

CBSSports.com Shop

 
 
 
Other Games
AMER 48 Final
GU 65
MCNS 63 Final
UNC 97
TEMP 83 Final
SYR 79
TNTC 42 Final
OKST 78
EVAN 67 Final
BUT 75
UT 56 Final
MIST 67
STBN 73 Final
NCST 92
WRST 58 Final
CIN 68
KAN 74 Final
OHST 66
ILL 73 Final
MIZZ 82
SDSU 80 Final
SF 58
LAFAY 50 Final
MINN 75
FLA 61 Final
KSU 67
WKY 55 Final
LOU 78
CAN 74 Final
UNLV 89
ARIZ 73 Final
ETSU 53