San Diego State vs New Mexico

Bairstow, New Mexico drop No. 6 San Diego St.


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- New Mexico's strategy was simple against No. 6 San Diego State: Get the ball to Cameron Bairstow.

Bairstow scored 26 points on a series of jumpers, dunks and layups to lead the Lobos to a 58-44 victory over the Aztecs on Saturday night.

"I said it before and I said it on national TV, I've got the best power forward in the country playing for us in Cam Bairstow," New Mexico coach Craig Neal said.

After failing to score above 20 points before this season, the senior Bairstow topped 20 for the 16th time this campaign.

"Bairstow had his way," Aztecs coach Steve Fisher said. "He's 11 for 18, 26 points. He's good. I'm up trying to beg for a call.

"'Swimming in the post, swimming in the post.' And I could've gone swimming myself. He was just getting the ball and scoring with it."

San Diego State (23-3, 12-2 Mountain West) entered the game hoping to deny Bairstow the ball. The strategy was unsuccessful.

"We were just trying not to let him catch it deep," Aztecs forward J.J. O'Brien said. "Not give him easy buckets. He likes to duck in, use his strength and get easy buckets. We were going to try and keep him out of the paint as well as we could."

However, Bairstow had his way all game, scoring 10 in the first half then leading a second-half charge that stymied San Diego State.

After the Aztecs opened the second half with a basket, New Mexico (21-5, 12-2) hammered out a 21-2 run over a span of almost 9 minutes to take a 50-26 lead. Bairstow started the run with two baskets, and ended up with 10 in the surge.

"I just felt good with it," Bairstow said in explaining his success. "Looking at the scoreboard, I couldn't believe we were up 20. Obviously I was expecting a lot closer game."

It was a game that the Lobos were determined to have, he said.

"We knew what was on the line and what the game meant to us," Bairstow said. "We wanted to get out to a quick start and we managed to do that. It's not like this is a signature win that's going to win the conference. But it is one which puts us even with San Diego State."

Neal credited the team's defensive effort, particularly on Aztecs leading scorer Xavier Thames, who averages 17 but shot 3 of 15 and finished with seven points. Winston Shepard led San Diego State's effort with 10 points.

"I thought the difference was our defense," Neal said. "We wanted to give them space. We wanted them to make jump shots over us. We no-helped Thames. So if he was on ballside or anywhere by the ball, we didn't want him to get it back. So I thought that was a big key to our game."

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
San Diego State #6 (23-3)222244
New Mexico (21-5) «292958
SDGST:W. Shepard 10 Pts
SDGST:W. Shepard 6 Reb
SDGST:X. Thames 2 Ast
NMEX:C. Bairstow 26 Pts
NMEX:C. Bairstow 9 Reb
NMEX:K. Williams 7 Ast

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San Diego StateNew Mexico
Winston Shepard
Cameron Bairstow
San Diego State Aztecs
X. Thames, G353-150-02207
J. O'Brien, F354-120-15028
W. Shepard, F315-130-061010
S. Spencer, F252-40-25144
J. Davis, F233-70-04026
D. Polee II, F202-60-04004
A. Quinn, G172-60-01005
M. Shrigley, F110-10-03020
D. Allen, G20-10-00000
D. Williams, G10-00-00000
J. Johnson, FDid Not Play
A. Chol, FDid Not Play
R. Staten, GDid Not Play
P. U'u, GDid Not Play
K. Woldemichael, GDid Not Play
D. Maxwell, GDid Not Play
N. Federico, FDid Not Play
Totals 21-650-33041044
New Mexico Lobos
A. Kirk, C373-110-09036
C. Bairstow, F3611-184-690026
H. Greenwood, G353-30-05436
K. Williams, G344-100-037310
D. Delaney, G261-10-02422
C. Neal, G153-50-01008
C. Thomas, G100-10-02000
M. Lindsay, F70-10-01000
C. Perez, GDid Not Play
N. Banyard, FDid Not Play
D. Williams, G-FDid Not Play
O. Aget, CDid Not Play
A. Edwards, GDid Not Play
T. Myles, FDid Not Play
Totals 25-504-632151158
Mountain West
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Boise St.0-09-140
Fresno St.0-08-268
San Diego St0-07-385
Air Force0-05-5310
Utah St.0-05-6193
Colorado St.0-04-6135
New Mexico0-03-7218
San Jose St.0-02-7341
Other games
LOU 58 Final
WISC 79 Final
FLA 75 Final
SJU 54 Final
ND 49 Final
UVA 70
LSU 76 Final
UK 77
IAST 71 Final
TCU 60
MINN 46 Final
UCLA 74 Final
SYR 60 Final
TEXAS 54 Final
KAN 85
GW 59 Final
STL 66
DRKE 54 Final
ARIZ 88 Final
TEMP 79 Final
GONZ 66 Final
USD 69