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LAS CRUCES (AP) — Despite a gimpy right ankle that sent him to the bench for several minutes early in the first half, New Mexico guard Kendall Williams put on a show Wednesday night against rival New Mexico State.
Williams tied his career high with 24 points, made all eight of his free throws and played 35 minutes to lead the No. 16 Lobos to a 68-63 victory over the Aggies at the Pan Am Center.
With its second win over the Aggies in a week, New Mexico (12-0) equaled the second-best start in school history.
Williams rolled his right ankle one minute into the game and sat out the next five minutes.
“He came back and was just terrific,” New Mexico coach Steve Alford said. “Best player on the floor. Kendall Williams is extremely talented. He had a big game for us both offensively and defensively. He was a great leader. He is playing at a very, very high level.”
When Williams returned, New Mexico State (5-6) was in the midst of a 16-4 run that included four 3-pointers to go up 25-14.
But Williams took over at that point, scoring nine points during an 11-0 run. He started by converting both ends of a 1-and-1, then dropped a 3-pointer and hit a short jumper before capping the run with a drive through the lane.
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