New Mexico 84, Presbyterian 52

11/16/2007 - New Mexico Lobos

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) -- Chad Toppert scored a career-high 21 points and J.R. Giddens added 16 points and eight rebounds as New Mexico beat Presbyterian 88-57 on Friday night at the Basketball Travelers Invitational.

Junior-college transfer Johnnie Harris scored 12 for the Lobos (3-0), who had no trouble dispatching the Blue Hose (0-3).

Presbyterian, a 1,200-student college in Clinton, S.C., is beginning its first season in Division I and it wasn't long after tipoff before New Mexico's superior size, speed and athleticism took over.

The Blue Hose led 5-2 early but the Lobos started running and seized control with a 8-0 burst. Toppert hit two 3-pointers in a 9-2 run, making it 19-7, and Giddens had the crowd cheering with two spectacular alley-oop dunks.

The first, from freshman Dairese Gary, put New Mexico up 23-7 with 10:12 before halftime and the second, on a toss by freshman Jonathan Wills, made it 32-12 with 6:04 until the break.

Toppert made 7-of-10 from the floor, including 5-of-8 from 3-point range. Gary finished with seven assists.

Pat Kiscaden scored 18 points on 6-of-9 3-point shooting to lead Presbyterian, while Ryan Lamb scored 13 and Al'lonzo Coleman had 12 points and seven rebounds.

New Mexico led 50-24 at halftime and extended it to 59-29 early in the second half after Harris got free underneath for consecutive baskets. The Lobos led by as much as 80-45 after Giddens' putback with 7:28 remaining.

Presbyterian shot 42 percent from the floor, after New Mexico had limited both of its first two opponents, Colorado and Eastern Washington, to 34 percent shooting.

Presbyterian is facing one of the nation's toughest schedule. Besides a visit to The Pit, the Blue Hose will travel to Clemson, Ohio State, Georgia, Wake Forest, North Carolina State and Georgia Tech.