U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY (AP) - J.R. Giddens scored 14 points to lead New Mexico to a 68-51 win over Air Force on Wednesday.
With the scored tied 35-35 at the intermission, the Lobos began pulling away early in the second half. Roman Martinez opened the scoring with a three-point basket, and Giddings and Daniel Faris began scoring from beneath the basket. The Lobos opened a 15-point margin with some five minutes to play, and coasted home for the win.
Faris was in double figures for the Lobos with 11.
Eric Kenzik led Air Force scoring with a career-high 11 points. Andrew Henke and Keith Maren had 0 for the Falcons.
New Mexico, 8-4 in the Mountain West Conference and 21-6 overall, entered the game in third place in the Mountain West Conference and on a four-game wining streak. With the win New Mexico completes a season series sweep of the Falcons, having defeated Air Force 59-44 in Albuquerque on Jan. 19. Air Force 5-7, 13-12, was in sixth, and had broken a three-game losing skid with win over Wyoming on Saturday.
The teams battled on even terms early, until the Lobos opened a 14-point bulge midway through the first half behind the three-point shooting of Chad Toppert, who canned three shots from beyond the arc, and Jamaal Smith who added another three-pointer.
Not to be outdone, Air Force answered with a long-range basket by Henke and a pair of three-pointers from Eric Kenzik, to narrow the margin to 27-22, and eventually tied the game at 29-29. Three-pointers by Dairese Gary and Darren Prentice gave the Lobos the lead, but Henke tied the game with a three-pointer shortly before the halftime buzzer.
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