New Mexico Grabs NIT Win Over UTEP, 69-57
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  03/15/2011
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

March 15, 2011

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Kendall Williams and Drew Gordon scored 18 points each to help New Mexico beat UTEP 69-57 on Tuesday night in the first round of the NIT.

No. 4 seed New Mexico (22-12) took its first lead at the 6:37 mark of the first half when A.J. Hardeman banked in a turnaround jumper in the midst of a 10-0 run that put the Lobos up 27-21.

New Mexico, playing its first game without injured senior point guard Dairese Gary, opened the second half with a 6-0 surge to extend its lead to 40-30 with 16:35 left.

Later in the half, Phillip McDonald, who had been 1 for 7 from the field, hit three consecutive 3-pointers in a 9-2 run that extended UNM's lead to 54-41 with 6:41 left.

Randy Culpepper led the fifth-seeded Miners (25-10) with 23 points, but only one teammate was in double figures.

The Lobos will play top-seeded Alabama in the second round.