San Diego St.-New Mexico Preview
By NOEY KUPCHAN
(AP) -- New Mexico posted its highest scoring effort of 2012-13 behind a record-setting performance from Kendall Williams over the weekend.
The Lobos, in contrast, were held to their fewest points in 37 seasons last month against San Diego State.
With a chance to clinch at least a share of its second straight Mountain West Conference title, No. 14 New Mexico tries to avenge that ugly loss to the Aztecs on Wednesday night.
The Lobos (23-4, 10-2) took a big step toward winning the regular-season crown Saturday with a 91-82 victory at then-No. 22 Colorado State. Williams, who leads the team with 14.4 points per game, scored a career-high 46 while making a league-record 10 3-pointers on 13 attempts.
"(Williams) was at a different level in this game," coach Steve Alford told the school's official website. "I don't know if we saw 46 coming. We are who we are. We just fought like crazy. I have to give the guys credit. They just played so hard and so well. ... They have a championship demeanor to them."
New Mexico is two games ahead of second-place Colorado State with four to play.
"This is going to be a fun two weeks," said Alford, whose team is 13-1 at home. "Our Pit crowd should have a lot of fun with this (San Diego State visit). Our guys are driven. They are motivated."
The Lobos now turn their attention to the Aztecs (20-7, 8-5), who dominated them in almost every facet of the game during a 55-34 road loss Jan. 26. Williams was the only Lobo to score in double figures with 14 as New Mexico recorded its lowest point total since putting up 32 on Jan. 31, 1976.
San Diego State has won 12 of 17 overall and five of seven on the road in the series.
"We know the task ahead of us heading to New Mexico to play who appear to be the conference champions. ... It's going to be hard for anybody to catch them now," coach Steve Fisher said.
"Our task will be to find a way to win what probably will be a close game. ... We're excited about the trip. We've played fairly well there over the years, and we're going to need to do that on Wednesday."
San Diego State is seeking a third straight win after beating Nevada 88-75 on Saturday. Jamaal Franklin, second in the league with 17.3 points per game, scored 23 to go along with 12 rebounds for his 10th double-double.
"This was another good, important win for us," Fisher said. "I think we have a lot of good teaching points to build on and feel good about ourselves."
San Diego State has dropped three straight on the road by a total of 11 points, and it hasn't suffered four consecutive losses in opposing arenas since 2006-07. The Aztecs are 1-3 against Top 25 foes this season, with the win coming over then-No. 15 New Mexico.
"We're fighting to win that next game and get that resume victory or two before the season is over," Fisher said. "It's a stage where every team has something significant to say this is why this game is our most important game."
San Diego State's only win in league play when Franklin scored under 14 points came when he had 10 on 4-of-16 shooting against the Lobos last month.
Updated February 26, 2013