Page last updated on Sat Nov 22 21:24:09 EST 2014
02/23/2013 8:11 PM EST
Williams scores 46 to lead New Mexico past CSU
NEW MEXICO 91, COLORADO ST 82
By ARNIE MELENDREZ STAPLETON
AP Sports Writer
FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) -- With 9 minutes left, New Mexico guard
Kendall Williams trudged to the bench with a career-high 28
points - and four fouls.
While he caught his breath, No. 22 Colorado State built a
six-point lead over the 16th-ranked Lobos.
Moby Arena was rocking and the Rams were rolling, about to
extend the nation's third-longest home winning streak to 28
Williams had other things in mind - and 18 points left to score.
"Luckily, some shots went in," said the junior guard from Rancho
Cucamonga, Calif., who finished with a career-best 46 points -
almost double his previous career high of 24 - in leading New
Mexico to a 91-82 win Saturday.
Williams set a Mountain West Conference record with 10
3-pointers and his 46 points were the most in the 47-year-old
arena, topping the 44 scored by Portland State's Freeman
Williams on Nov. 29, 1975.
"He should be hands-down player of the week, I would think,"
Lobos coach Steve Alford deadpanned.
Williams helped the Lobos overcome that 70-64 deficit at the
6-minute mark by hitting a trio of 3-pointers, a dunk and seven
free throws down the stretch as New Mexico outscored the Rams
"He got on a roll today," Alford said. "And it was a 40-minute
Actually, it was a 33-minute roll. He spent seven minutes on the
bench in foul trouble.
"That's what's really impressive," Alford said. "He sat about a
four-minute stretch there in the second half and still scores
and does what he does. It's pretty amazing. But he did a great
job in that last six minutes not picking up that fifth" foul.
Center Alex Kirk added 19 points and 10 rebounds for the Lobos
(23-4, 10-2), who increased their lead in the conference race to
two games over the Rams (21-5, 8-4).
Colton Iverson had 26 points and 15 boards for the Rams, who
looked like they were going to move into a first-place tie atop
the standings after taking a 70-64 lead at the 6-minute mark.
Williams' treys highlighted a 14-2 run that gave New Mexico a
78-72 lead before the Rams sent the Lobos to the line over the
final two minutes.
"Well, that was a special night to watch," Alford said. "I told
him that. I said I never had a 10-3 game, I never got to 46.
Forty-two was the most I ever scored and eight 3s was the most I
ever made in a game."
"There's not too many one-ups you can get on Coach Alford,
especially in scoring," Williams said. "I might be on top of the
world for the rest of the weekend."
Williams' previous career best was 24 points against Indiana
State and New Mexico State earlier this season.
"The players kept feeding me the ball," said Williams, who had
15 family members, including his grandmother, in the stands. "It
was really just a team effort, some of the shots I hit were
tough. But if the teammates didn't put me in position and the
coaches didn't put me in position, I wouldn't have had quite the
night I had."
The Rams blamed themselves for Williams' big game.
"We had no answer for him," Rams coach Larry Eustachy said. "...
He was completely unstoppable. I want to see film on how many of
those shots were contested."
His bet is that not many were.
The Rams, who gave up 45 points to Air Force's Michael Lyons a
week earlier, left Williams open early on while locking down
Tony Snell, who scored 10 points Saturday after getting 23 in
their first meeting last month.
"He hadn't been shooting well this year," Dorian Green said. "We
gave him some uncontested looks, let him get hot. Guys are too
good in our league to do that."
"We gave him open looks early," Wes Eikmeier added. "He got hot
and then he was feeling it the rest of the night."
Green (20) and Eikmeier (22) gave the Rams three 20-point
scorers in their losing effort. Eikmeier scored 11 straight to
put the Rams ahead 55-50.
The Lobos quieted the crowd with a 12-6 run to regain the lead
at 62-61, but Williams, less than a minute after returning to
the lineup, was whistled for his fourth foul and took a seat at
the nine-minute mark.
"I was real mad," Williams said. "My emotions were high, but
(assistant coach Craig) Neal came over while Coach Alford was
doing his thing and calmed me down and says, `You're going to
have to bring it home, kid. Don't foul and get the shots that
you need.' And that's exactly what I did."
The Rams were coming off a two-point loss at UNLV on Wednesday
night that snapped their six-game winning streak, which began
after a 66-61 loss to the Lobos in Albuquerque last month.
They hadn't lost at home since Nov. 11, 2012, to Southern Miss.,
which was coached at the time by Eustachy, who took the Rams job
Williams' 10th 3-pointer - in 13 tries - broke the conference
mark of nine set by several players, most recently UNLV's Chace
Stanback against Central Arkansas on Dec. 28, 2011. It was a
difficult shot from the right corner.
"Why not? Just throw it up there, had hit a few already,"
Williams said. "With the hoop the size it was tonight and the
rhythm I was feeling, it just felt like I had to throw that one
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