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It was a mixed day for the state of New Mexico during the second round of the NCAA Tournament in Portland, Ore., Thursday.
Fifth-seeded New Mexico held off Long Beach State 75-68 and the Lobos will face Louisville in a third-round matchup Saturday in the West Regional. Thirteen-seeded New Mexico State, meanwhile, was unable to handle Indiana inside and fell 79-66 to Indiana in the South Regional.
In the New Mexico game, Kendall Williams scored 14 of his 16 points in the second half and bottled up Long Beach State star Casper Ware defensively.
When New Mexico needed a big shot, Williams delivered. His 3-pointer with 4:38 left pushed the Lobos ahead for good after Long Beach State (25-9) took a 61-59 lead on a steal and windmill dunk from James Ennis.
Williams then floated a soft runner in the lane with 1:25 left for a 70-66 New Mexico lead that the 12th-seeded 49ers couldn’t overcome.
“Our coaches told us to get into the lane and penetrate and make plays,” Williams said. “I saw a few openings, a few opportunities and was able to make some pretty big shots down the stretch.”
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