Men's College Basketball
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                 === New Mexico knocks off No. 8 Cincinnati ===
 
 Cincinnati,  OH (Sports Network) - Alex Kirk finished with 15 points and seven
 rebounds  and blocked  Sean Kilpatrick's potential game-winner just before the
 buzzer,  as New Mexico went into Fifth Third Arena and handed No. 8 Cincinnati
 its first loss in a 55-54 defensive slugfest.
 
 Kendall  Williams  scored 14 of  his 16 points in  the second half, while Tony
 Snell  added 10 points, including a late go-ahead jumper for the Lobos (13-1),
 who  fell  out of  the top-25 after  getting upset by  South Dakota State last
 week.
 
 Kilpatrick  paced  Cincinnati (12-1)  with 15 points,  while JaQuon Parker and
 Cashmere Wright chipped in 14 and 12 points, respectively.
 
 The  Bearcats, who entered Thursday as one of five undefeated teams remaining,
 shot  just 31  percent from  the floor  in having  their 13-game  home winning
 streak snapped.
 
 "To  come  in here and  hold them  to 54 points  on 31 percent shooting that's
 pretty  pleasing for a basketball coach. You really appreciate the effort your
 guys gave," New Mexico head coach Steve Alford said.
 
 It  was  a two-possession game the  entire second half, with the lead changing
 hands six times in the last six minutes.
 
 The  last exchange came  when Snell made a deep jumper from the baseline for a
 55-54 edge with 2 1/2 minutes to go.
 
 Kilpatrick  and Wright  each missed from long range on the next two Cincinnati
 possessions,  and Williams drew iron on a contested mid-range jumper with time
 winding down. Parker was fouled with 15.7 seconds remaining after grabbing the
 rebound  on Williams'  miss, and the Lobos  still had three more fouls to give
 before reaching the penalty.
 
 After  two  more fouls  were committed,  the Bearcats  called timeout with 4.5
 ticks showing. Kilpatrick inbounded the ball under the basket to Cheikh Mbodj,
 who gave the ball back to Kilpatrick in the corner before setting a pick.
 
 Kirk came off Mbodj and got a hand on Kilpatrick's 3-point attempt, and by the
 time Mbodj grabbed the loose ball, time had expired.
 
 "I thought I had (Kirk), I could have drove him left but I didn't," Kilpatrick
 said of the final play.
 
 Both  teams struggled  offensively in the first half, with Cincinnati shooting
 5-of-26  (19 percent) inside the arc, and New Mexico's struggles summarized by
 Chad Adams airballing a potential go-ahead 3-pointer in the final minute.
 
 The  Bearcats never trailed in the opening 20 minutes, thanks in part to their
 five 3-pointers, and went into the break carrying a 26-22 lead.
 
 Williams,  the  Lobos' leading  scorer, was  held without a  field goal in the
 first  half (0-for-4), but  hit a pair from behind the arc in the early stages
 of  the second,  and New Mexico took  its first lead, 34-32, on Kirk's layup 5
 1/2 minutes in.
 
                                   Game Notes
 
 This  was New Mexico's second win over a Big East opponent this season, having
 defeated  Connecticut  in  the  championship  game of  the  Paradise  Jam  ...
 Cincinnati  shot  11-of-26 (42  percent) from  behind the  arc and 9-of-38 (24
 percent)  inside it ... The Bearcats only shot four free throws and made three
 ...  New Mexico  was 6-of-11 from the  foul line ... Cincinnati opens Big East
 play  at Pittsburgh on  New Year's Eve ... New Mexico has a road tilt at Saint
 Louis  on  New Year's Eve before  hosting UNLV in its Mountain West Conference
 opener on Jan. 9.
 
 
 12/28 01:34:22 ET

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