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MBB Falls to New Mexico 106-65

Nov 14, 2006

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) -J.R. Giddens scored a career high 25 points and New Mexico got a huge first half lift from its bench in a 106-65 win over Colorado on Tuesday night.

Giddens, the former Kansas guard who sat out last season after transferring to New Mexico, shook off a slow start and dissected the Buffaloes' defense with his quickness, slashing moves to the basket and outside jumper that repeatedly found the hoop.

Guard Xavier Silas led the Buffaloes (1-1) with 14 points. Richard Roby and Kalvin Bay each scored 12.

New Mexico (3-0) took its first lead at 15-14 on a pair of free throws by Jeffrey Henfield with 11:46 left in the first half. New Mexico's reserves, who scored 25 points in the first half, and some solid free throw shooting, carried the Lobos' offense until Giddens found his stroke.

The Lobos hit their first 13 free throws and reserves Daniel Faris, Chad Toppert and Ryan Kersten provided much of the offense in the first 20 minutes.

Toppert hit a trio of 3-pointers in the first half, Faris scored 8 points and Kersten 6. Toppert's back-to-back 3s gave the Lobos a 36-25 lead with 5:02 left in the first half.

Faris, the sophomore backup center, finished with career highs of 14 points and 8 rebounds.

New Mexico led 47-34 at halftime and broke it open from there as the Lobos shot 67 percent in the second half. Giddens was the catalyst. He scored on a jumper in the lane, then came up with a steal and dunk that pushed the lead to 62-39 with 12:55 left.

Giddens, a junior who New Mexico coach Ritchie McKay has tabbed a likely lottery pick in next summer's NBA draft, flexed his muscles to the crowd of more than 12,000 after the dunk.

Giddens hit 11 of 19 shots and along with Faris and Aaron Johnson led the Lobos to a 51-35 edge in rebounding. Giddens had 9 rebounds and Johnson 11.