In a battle between two top-25 teams, New Mexico went down to the wire with the Colorado State Rams, but the visiting No. 16 Lobos prevailed with a 91-82 victory.
At the heart of New Mexico's offensive effort was Kendall Williams, who entered the game with a previous season-high of 24 points. He exploded for an otherworldly 46 points on 10-13 shooting and helped the Lobos pull away in the second half.
Thus far, Williams has averaged just over 13 points per game, but the junior put on a show in a critical Mountain West Conference matchup in record-setting fashion.
With 10 three-pointers on the day, Williams set a conference record, despite spending a considerable amount of time on the bench after registering his fourth foul in the second half.
Neither team enjoyed much production off the bench, as the Rams' substitutions edged those of New Mexico's by a margin of 6-4.
The home team received strong performances by Colton Iverson, Dorian Green and Wes Eikmeier, who all put up at least 20 points in a losing effort for Colorado State, and the defeat moved the Rams to 21-6, with a conference mark of 8-4.
For New Mexico, this game was a pivotal one for a team looking to lock up the MWC title after making NCAA Tournament appearances in two of the last three years, as the Rams would have moved into a tie for first place with a win on Saturday.
While the Lobos got a big game out of Alex Kirk, who recorded a double-double with 19 points and 10 boards, the story of the day was clearly Williams.
As CBS Sports' Steve Lappas put it, Williams' performance was one for the ages.
Steve Lappas @stlappas
Kendall Williams 46 points on the road? This is the best performance in college basketball this season! Absolutely amazing !!!!what a win!2/23/2013, 11:18:52 PM
MW Men's Basketball @MW_MBB
#MWBB Final: No. 16/16 @UNMLOBOS 91, No. @CSUMensBball 82. UNM's Kendall Williams w/ 46 points, fifth-best single-game effort in MW history.2/23/2013, 11:13:40 PM
Williams helped the Lobos improve their conference record to 10-2, and the conference confirmed that the guard put up one of the best single-game performances in MWC history.
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