Stevens: Lobos Go Inside-Out To Post 105-64 Victory Over Victory

Oct. 31, 2012

New Mexico Lobos Men's Basketball - In The Pit -- Exhibition

Wednesday: New Mexico Lobos 105 , Victory Eagles 64

By Richard Stevens - Senior Writer/

Did the New Mexico Lobos get better or did the Victory Eagles get wing heavy?

Probably, a little bit of both factors came into play Wednesday night in The Pit as the Lobos ran to a 105-64 exhibition victory over Victory.

The Victory visitors led 16-15 in the first half before fading to a 56-33 halftime hole. They were down only 69-45 at the 11:58 break in the second half before falling by 41 points.

"The last 10 minutes of both halves, on both ends, we were really good," said Lobo Coach Steve Alford.

The Lobos got 56 points in the paint, 26 points off turnovers and 29 points off their bench. Cameron Bairstow had 22 of those points in the paint and a whole lot of other paint points came off transition and drives.

"My team did a really good job of getting me the ball in a position where I could succeed," said Bairstow, a 6-foot-9 junior, who was basically UNM's only point option with 7-foot Alex Kirk resting an injured ankle.

Said Alford: "He has shown some pretty good progress in the last couple of weeks. He just keeps getting better. He was the only post we could establish with Alex out."

Demetrius Walker matched Bairstow with 22 points and both Lobos went 8-of-10 from the floor. "He's a monster down there," Walker said of Bairstow. Kendall Williams added 17 points and Tony Snell scored 15 point.

"I thought Demetrius, Kendall and Tony played well," said Alford. "I thought those guys were very good. They made good basketball plays. They set up each other nicely.

"You are going to see those guards get an awful lot of minutes. We have to get those guys used to playing heavy minutes. They have to get trained that way."

The UNM starters - Bairstow, Hugh Greenwood, Williams, Snell and Walker - all played at least 20 minutes with Walker logging 29 minutes. "We are a guard-heavy team," said Walker. "So, we know we have to shoot the ball well and it paid dividends for us tonight."

Walker, Snell and Williams combined to take 29 shots.

The exhibition rout allowed Alford to deep deeply into his bench as 10 of 11 Lobos scored points. Greenwood led all rebounders with 12, which was a big factor in UNM out rebounding Victory 40-to-35.

"Hugh had 12 rebounds, which is crazy," said Walker. "We have to help him out."

Bairstow had eight boards. Greenwood was the only shutout on the scoreboard going 0-of-4 from the floor.

"Not a lot of point guards get 12 rebounds and no points," said Alford. "Hugh plays so hard and he knows what best helps us win games. Our not concerned about the points."

UNM shot 57.6 percent (38-of-66) from the floor and 32 percent (8-of-25) from 3-point range. The Lobos had 23 assists. UNM shot 21-of-28 from the line (75 percent).

"That's more to my liking," Alford said of the 25 3-point shots. UNM shot 50 in an earlier scrimmage. "We got to the free-throw line. We didn't foul."

Victory shot 35.3 percent with Tyrell Hursey scoring 28 points on 10-of-23 shooting. "He had a big night," said Alford. "He's very explosive offensively. He's a prolific scorer and I thought he made some really tough shots."

Eagle Keron Jackson had 15 points and 10 boards. The Eagles had 19 turnovers to eight for the Lobos, who had 12 steals. Williams had six assists and Cleveland Thomas had five.

The Eagles played with the Lobos early and led 16-15 before UNM pulled away to a 56-33 halftime bulge. Victory seemed to tire at the close of both halves. The Eagles were down 69-45 at the 11:58 break in the second half as UNM had extended its 23-point halftime lead by only a single point.

Victory cut that gap back to 23 points before a technical by Eagle guard Chris Downey put Downy on the bench and help UNM spurt to a 78-49 lead. Downey had been having a tough evening with seven turnovers and 2-of-8 shooting at that point.

The Lobos continued to play fast and run, and again the Eagles seem to fade. UNM was up 94-57 with 4:43 to play.

The Lobos reached the 100-point barrier at 2:27 on a reverse layup by Kory Alford.

First Half: New Mexico Lobos 56, Victory Eagles 33

The Lobos shot a sizzling 61.8 percent (21-of-34) in the first half and created 11 turnovers to two by Victory to help forge UNM's 23-point lead. The Lobos got 12 points from Bairstow, and 10 apiece from Snell and Walker. Greenwood led all rebounders with eight and added three assists and two steals.

The Eagles shot 39.4 percent (13-of-33) and out rebounded UNM 18-to-17. Victory's Tyrell Hursey led all scorers in the half with 17 points. UNM had nine players in the scoring column, but no Lobo except Greenwood had more than two boards in the first 20 minutes. The Lobos also outscored Victory at the line going 10-of-14 to 1-of-2 for the Eagles.

The Lobos got 15 first-half points off their bench while the Eagles' small bench did not score. UNM had 14 fast-break points to none for Victory.

The Eagles hung with the Lobos early and had leads of 2-0, 11-8 and 16-15. Williams gave the Lobos the lead for good on a drive and Bairstow followed with a short fade to push UNM up 19-16.

The Lobos got a fast-break bucket off Walker-to-Snell-to-Williams quickly followed by a Snell steal and layup to make it 23-16. Walker added an 18-foot jumper and UNM had a 25-16 lead.

At the 12:11 break, UNM was up 27-19 with 10 points coming from Bairstow and nine from Williams. The Lobos were shooting 12-of-15 for an 80 percent percentage.

Victory wasn't exactly cold bombing at a 50 percent rate (7-of-14). Eagle Tyrell Hursey had 13 points going 5-of-7 from the field and 3-of-5 from 3-point range.

At a 7:45 break, UNM was 35-28. UNM had cooled to 68.2 percent and the Eagles dipped to 47.8 percent. Bairstow and Williams had not added to their totals at that mark and the Eagles had passed UNM on the boards, 11-to-9. UNM had one turnover at that point in the half.

The Lobos got two buckets inside, one from Chad Adams and one from Snell, to go up 39-28. Alford then hit a 3-pointer off a Greenwood feed to make it 42-28 - 14 points. A nice Greenwood rebound led to a Snell layup, a 44-28 UNM lead, and a Victory timeout. The Eagles were looking tired; the Lobos weren't. At the 3:48 break, UNM was up 44-30. Greenwood was leading all rebounders with six.

UNM continued to drift away. A Greenwood steal led to an Adams' dunk and a 56-33 Lobo lead that carried into the half.