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ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — When New Mexico post players Alex Kirk and Cameron Bairstow last saw San Diego State in the first meeting between the teams last month, they combined for two points and nine rebounds.
It was quite a different story Wednesday night for the Lobos’ frontcourt duo.
Kirk scored a season-high 25 points and Bairstow added 16 to help No. 14 New Mexico beat the Aztecs 70-60.
“They’re like anybody — when they don’t play well against somebody, you want to make up for that,” Lobos coach Steve Alford said. “They did not have very good games in San Diego and I think they really responded in this game.”
Kirk hit all three of his 3-point attempts and scored seven points during a 15-3 run early in the second half that pushed New Mexico’s lead to 48-33. He also had seven rebounds, three assists and three blocks for the Lobos (24-4, 11-2 Mountain West), who are one win from clinching the regular-season conference title.
Bairstow had five rebounds before fouling out. Nine of his points came late in the second half during a span of almost 5 minutes when he was the only New Mexico scorer.
He went 5 of 6 from the foul line, drove the lane for a dunk and added a short jumper to hold off San Diego State (20-8, 8-6), which had pulled to 52-46 with 7 minutes left.
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