Alabama A&M vs New Mexico

No. 23 New Mexico cruises past Alabama A&M

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Cameron Bairstow and Alex Kirk gave Craig Neal a winning debut as New Mexico coach.

Bairstow had 22 points and 11 rebounds, Kirk added 16 points and 12 rebounds, and the 23rd-ranked Lobos opened the season with an 88-52 victory over Alabama A&M on Saturday night.

"It was big night for me," Neal said.

Kendall Williams added 17 points and seven assists for New Mexico (1-0) and Cullen Neal, son of the head coach, finished with 12 in his college debut. Bairstow shot 9 for 10 from the field and Kirk was 7 for 13.

Alabama A&M couldn't control New Mexico's interior players as the Lobos jumped out to a 10-0 lead then stretched it to 21-3 with Bairstow contributing eight points in the stretch.

The lead didn't drop below 15 the rest of the way.

Jeremy Crutcher had 17 points to lead the Bulldogs (0-1). No other teammate scored in double digits.

"They're a good team," Bulldogs coach Willie Hayes said of New Mexico. "They have size. They shoot the ball."

New Mexico committed just nine turnovers while shooting 58.5 percent. The Lobos, who had 19 assists, also had a 48-27 rebounding advantage and held the Bulldogs to 26.8 percent shooting.

"I thought the guys played with a tempo that we wanted to see and I think we saw a team that plays together and sacrifices for each other and plays to a high level," Neal said. "I think we shot the ball well."

New Mexico demonstrated an up-tempo pace that it seldom used in previous years under former coach Steve Alford, who left for UCLA during the offseason.

"I thought it would be a good test because they had 11 guys coming back, veteran guys," Neal said. "I just thought we pushed the tempo in the first half but once we got to a certain number I just didn't see any reason to push the tempo again."

Although the Bulldogs didn't up much resistance, Hayes said it's a game that will be beneficial.

"This is going to help us as the season progresses," he said. "It shows you a bit of what you have to get better. We have to get better at rebounding."

New Mexico also had 16 second-chance points.

"We were able to get rebounds and get out and go," Bairstow said. "We did a much better job of defending."

That was something Neal saw, as well.

"I think we also played very good defense," he said. "That's one thing we're going to continue to do. And I thought everybody played really hard. Everybody that got in the game played really hard."

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Scoreboard
Alabama A&M (0-1)262652
New Mexico #23 (1-0) «454388
ALAM:J. Crutcher 17 Pts
ALAM:X. Williams 6 Reb
ALAM:G. Hill 4 Ast
NMEX:C. Bairstow 22 Pts
NMEX:A. Kirk 12 Reb
NMEX:K. Williams 7 Ast

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PLAYERS OF THE GAME
Alabama A&MNew Mexico
ALAM
Jeremy Crutcher
NMEX
Cameron Bairstow
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
171122113
Alabama A&M Bulldogs
J. Crutcher, G366-121-311117
B. Ellis, G151-70-01123
T. Davis, G121-40-00103
J. Hunter, F-C100-10-02030
J. Banks, C60-20-02030
J. Long, G-F241-50-02032
X. Williams, F212-41-26035
D. Tabb, G-F181-36-85048
G. Hill, G171-30-01443
A. Capers, F170-44-51004
J. Colvin, G122-60-01035
B. Houston, G-F80-42-21022
M. Cotton, G40-10-00000
N. West, FDid Not Play
R. Battle, GDid Not Play
I. Edwards, GDid Not Play
Totals 15-5614-202372852
 26.8%70.0% 
New Mexico Lobos
A. Kirk, C277-132-4120116
K. Williams, G254-47-817017
H. Greenwood, G242-30-21425
C. Bairstow, F239-104-6113322
C. Thomas, G211-40-22212
C. Neal, G202-67-932112
D. Delaney, G162-20-25104
A. Edwards, G131-52-20034
N. Banyard, F112-50-03014
O. Aget, C90-00-23020
M. Lindsay, F40-00-21000
T. Myles, F40-00-02020
D. Williams, G-F21-10-01022
C. Perez, G10-00-00000
Totals 31-5322-3945191888
 58.5%56.4% 
SWAC
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Texas So.17-223-12105
Alcorn St.14-518-14228
Grambling11-815-17318
Southern U.11-815-18320
Jackson St.10-914-18322
Prairie View10-913-20307
Miss. Val.7-127-25334
Ark.-PB6-127-25345
Alabama St.6-138-23342
Alabama A&M2-162-27351

Mountain West
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Nevada14-428-729
Colorado St.13-524-1266
Boise St.12-620-1272
Fresno St.11-720-1376
New Mexico10-817-1486
San Diego St9-919-1498
Wyoming8-1023-15152
San Jose St.7-1114-16191
Utah St.7-1114-17181
Air Force4-1412-21251
UNLV4-1411-21241
 
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MORG 50 Final
OHST 89
CHRL 48 Final
LOU 70
NULL 50 Final
WICH 93
BRY 76 Final
GONZ 100