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UNM pounds disappointing Davidson

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - Alex Kirk had 16 points and 14 rebounds, and No. 19 New Mexico bounced back from its first loss of the season with a 79-58 victory over Davidson to take third place at the Charleston Classic on Sunday.

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The Lobos (4-1) had hoped to be playing in the eight-team tournament's title game, but fell to Massachusetts 81-65 on Friday. The 7-foot Kirk took full advantage of Davidson's size disadvantage and largely had his way inside for his fifth double-double in as many games this season. It was the junior's 15th career game with double figures in points and rebounds.

Cameron Bairstow had 18 points to lead the Lobos.

Brian Sullivan had 17 points and four 3-pointers for Davidson, which played without injured top scorer De'Mon Brooks.

Davidson tried to negate New Mexico's edge in height with some long-distance shooting, attempting 20 3-pointers in the opening half. But the strategy came up short as the Wildcats fell to 1-5 for the second time in five years.

Cullean Neal had 15 points and Kendall Williams 12 for New Mexico. Kirk added three blocks.

Davidson of the mid-major Southern Conference entered the tournament with a well-earned reputation as a slayer of college basketball giants. This group has so far struggled against the big boys with its losses to Duke, Virginia, Clemson and New Mexico. The Wildcats have North Carolina and Wichita State ahead next month before league play starts in January.

Brooks, the preseason Southern Conference player of the year, wore his warm-up suit and used crutches to get on and off the court Sunday, holding his right leg up off the ground as he walked.

There was no official word about the extent of Brooks' injury, and coach Bob McKillop didn't know how long he might be out. The Wildcats don't play again until Nov. 30 at Stetson.

Without Brooks, who was hurt Friday, Davidson had little chance of hanging down low with Kirk, Bairstow and the taller, physical Lobos.

Kirk had nine of his team's first 13 points. The Wildcats tightened up around the 7-footer after that, running two or three players at him each time he caught the ball. That opened space for Bairstow.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
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