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No. 25 New Mexico beats Mercer 76-58

AP - Sports

ALBUQUERQUE (AP) -- Alex Kirk had 16 points and 13 rebounds and Cameron Bairstow added a career-high 16 points and No. 25 New Mexico beat Mercer 76-58 on Wednesday night.

It was Kirk's second straight double-double for the Lobos (7-0).

Travis Smith scored 16 points to lead the Bears (3-4).

Bairstow provided an early spark off the bench, scoring 10 points in his first 5 minutes of play with one block, one rebound and he also drew a charge on a Mercer fastbreak opportunity.

Most of Bairstow's damage came during a 17-2 New Mexico run as he combined with Tony Snell to score 14 of those points, putting the Lobos up 19-5.

Mercer was never able to get closer than eight points the rest of the way.

''Cam came in and really gave us a burst early in this game,'' Lobos coach Steve Alford said. ''I really like the fight I'm seeing right now from our two centers.''

The Bears led 49-41 midway through the second half when New Mexico went on a 24-2 run over the next 8 minutes to put the game away.

''They're a great team, well-coached and they're playing their tails off,'' Mercer coach Bob Hoffman said. ''If they keep continuing to work as hard as they do on their cuts and their execution, they're a handful because they have so many guys that can make shots.''

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