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The University of New Mexico Lobo men’s basketball team pulled even with the San Diego State Aztecs for the top spot in the Mountain West with a win in Albuquerque Saturday.
The Lobos held the Aztecs to just 22 points in each half as they earned a 58-44 victory in The Pit to knot up the top spot in the conference.
UNM and San Diego State will meet once more, in southern California, in a game which could well decide the regular season title.
The Lobos (21-5 overall, 12-2 in MW) allowed the Aztecs (23-3, 12-2) to convert just 30.6 percent of their chances from the floor in the first half. The Aztecs did little better in the second half, making just 10 field goals.
UNM was in danger of playing itself right out of a chance for the conference regular season title and the top seed in the upcoming MW tournament with a loss to Boise State Feb. 12.
But with back-to-back wins over UNLV — which handed the Lobos their first conference loss — and the Aztecs, who were ranked sixth in the country heading into Saturday’s game, have propelled UNM to the top of the standings.
Cameron Bairstow led the way for the Lobos with 26 points and 9 rebounds.
Kendall Williams added 10 points and Cullen Neal had 8 off the bench.
The Lobos shot a red-hot 52.2 percent from the field in the second half to put that game away.
The Aztecs only had one player in double-figures, guard Winston Shepard, who had 10 points.