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Thursday, March 15, 2012
Rapid Reax: New Mexico 75, LBSU 68

By Ted Miller


PORTLAND, Ore. -- Some quick thoughts on New Mexico's 75-68 win over Long Beach State in the West Regional second round of the NCAA tournament.

Overview: New Mexico shot 51 percent from the floor and rode four double-digit scorers to a win over Long Beach State in an entertaining, fast-paced game. While star center Drew Gordon did his thing, he got a lot of support, and 49ers star Casper Ware had a terrible afternoon shooting. The Lobos, not a particularly great 3-point shooting team, hit 4-of-10 in the second half.

Turning point: With five minutes left, Long Beach State's James Ennis gave the 49ers a 61-59 lead on a dunk. But Kendall Williams answered on the other end with a 3-pointer, and New Mexico would never trail again.

Key player: While Gordon was very good -- 18 points, 13 rebounds, 7-of-9 from the field -- it's hard to ignore Kendall Williams' second-half contribution. He scored 14 of his 16 points in the second half, including a pair of key 3-pointers on three attempts. He also had six assists and three rebounds.

Key stat: Ware is a fantastic player, but he had a poor game, shooting 5-of-19 from the field, including 2-of-9 from 3-point range. He did dish seven assists. He probably could have dished a few more.

Miscellaneous: The Lobos outrebounded their opponents in 27 of 30 regular-season games, but LBSU won the rebound battle 33-30, including a 14-7 advantage on the offensive glass. ... The game featured plenty of balance. Both teams had four players in double-figures and 12 players in the game had at least five points. ... New Mexico at 19 assists vs. 13 for LBSU, and the Lobos also had fewer turnovers -- 14 to 15. ... The Lobos had seven blocked shots.

What’s next: New Mexico will play Louisville on Saturday for a chance to advance to the Sweet 16. Times are TBA.