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The University of New Mexico Lobos opened up a 10-point lead at the half and made it stick despite a couple of attempt by the New Mexico State University Aggies to make it a ballgame.
UNM won the first contest of its annual home-and-home series with NMSU Wednesday. Kendall Williams had 24 points and Cameron Bairstow added 20 as the Lobos downed the Aggies 79-70 at the Pan American Center in Las Cruces.
The two teams will meet again Dec. 17 in Albuquerque.
Aggie guard Daniel Mullings led his team with 16 points, but the Aggies struggled from the perimeter, connecting on just 4 of 19 attempts beyond the 3-point circle.
Los Alamos native Alex Kirk got in foul trouble during the first half and saw limited playing time Wednesday. He finished with 9 points and 5 rebounds, the first time this season he failed to get into double-figures in either category.