New Mexico-Indiana St. Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated November 30, 2012
With New Mexico's three starting guards returning, the backcourt was expected to lead the way this season. A pair of frontcourt players, though, are beginning to contribute as well. After helping keep the No. 25 Lobos unbeaten, Alex Kirk and Cameron Bairstow will try to get them past host Indiana State in the Mountain West/Missouri Valley Challenge on Saturday. Kendall Williams and Tony Snell were New Mexico's top returning scorers this season and joined Hugh Greenwood to form a solid guard trio for the Lobos. One of the big questions for the team, though, was who would replace graduated leading scorer and rebounder Drew Gordon. New Mexico has gotten some help lately from the 7-foot Kirk, who has scored in double figures in four straight games and has double-doubles in his last two. He had 16 points and a career-high 13 rebounds in a 76-58 rout of Mercer on Wednesday, and Bairstow contributed a career-best 16 points off the bench. "I really like the fight I'm seeing out of my two centers," coach Steve Alford told the school's website. "We are getting a lot of good production out of those two bigs. They just continue to get better." With that duo's help, the Lobos (7-0) are more than halfway toward matching their 12-0 start of 2009-10. They'll try to move a step closer in their first game on an opponent's floor this season, though they did earn three wins at the Paradise Jam in the Virgin Islands before their recent three-game homestand. "We just have to go out there and play hard and try to prove ourselves every game," Snell said. The Lobos will face an Indiana State team that's won four straight but was blown out in its only other matchup with a ranked team. The Sycamores (4-1) have faced largely lackluster competition since that 86-59 road loss to then-No. 13 UCLA on Nov. 9. They defeated High Point 76-62 at home in their most recent outing Sunday. Junior guard Lucas Eitel made all nine of his shots - seven from 3-point range - for a career-high 25 points, four more than the total from his first four games. Khristian Smith had 18 points off the bench after scoring 24 in his first four career contests. Leading scorer Jake Odum finished with seven points - 6.2 below his average - but contributed eight rebounds and six assists. Indiana State has lost three in a row to ranked teams since knocking off then-No. 25 Vanderbilt 61-55 on Dec. 17. The Sycamores have also dropped their last three home games to Top 25 foes. New Mexico and Indiana State are meeting for the first time.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

WATCH: Florida's Chiozza sends Wisconsin home on incredible buzzer-beater

LaVar Ball gets Crying Jordan, meme treatment after UCLA loss

Celtics upset Suns tried to pad Devin Booker’s stats

Five teams that may be interested in Blake Griffin this summer

Report: Tony Romo ‘believes it’s Texans or retirement’

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Clay Matthews Sr. passes away at 88

WWE’s Kane is inching toward running for mayor in Tennessee

Jung Ho Kang denied visa for DUI, may miss 2017 MLB season

Jets not ready to say Josh McCown will be starter

Sens owner on Sidney Crosby: He’s 'a whiner' and should be suspended for Methot slash

Report: Griffin could be growing more open to leaving Clippers

Best of Yardbarker: Did Team USA's victory save the World Baseball Classic?

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Breaking down the Naismith Award race

Box Score 3/24: Waiting on West Virginia

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

With Team USA's victory, World Baseball Classic (finally) lived up to its potential

The NFL distraction playbook

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Lingering issues for each 2016 MLB postseason team

Box Score 3/23: Team USA wins their first WBC title

College Basketball News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Best of Yardbarker: Did Team USA's victory save the World Baseball Classic?

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Breaking down the Naismith Award race

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

The NFL distraction playbook

With Team USA's victory the WBC (finally) lived up to its potential

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Steph Curry pushes OKC's buttons

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker