New Mexico's Cullen Neal (1) shoots during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Oral Roberts, Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015, in Albuquerque, N.M. (AP Photo/Juan Labreche)
Juan Labreche
December 01, 2015

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) Cullen Neal and Elijah Brown took turns trying to outdo each other in a blistering first half Tuesday, and then New Mexico held off a significant Oral Roberts second-half surge to win 91-75.

Neal finished with a career-high 29 points with seven assists while Tim Williams had 23 points with 12 rebounds. Brown had 14 of his 15 points in the first half.

The Golden Eagles (6-2), who had won five straight games, fell behind by 63-35 six minutes into the second half before an oppressive press throttled New Mexico (5-1). Oral Roberts scored 12 straight points in a two-minute span, most of those off of steals when the Lobos failed to get the ball out of its own half.

The run stretched to 26-6, cutting the lead to 68-59, before New Mexico recovered.

Obi Emegano had 25 points for Oral Roberts, and Brandon Conley added 16 points and 12 boards.

Neal and Brown 3-pointers fueled an early 14-2 New Mexico run to create a 24-9 advantage. The Lobos followed that stretch with a 19-6 run in which Neal had another 3 and Brown capped it with two 3-pointers to extend the lead to 43-22.

Emegano took advantage of the press to score six straight points to kick start the Golden Eagles.

But after the lead fell to single digits, Neal drove the lane for two lay ups, added two foul shots, and put the finishing touches on a game-deciding 16-6 run with his fourth 3-pointer.

With 15 second-half points, Williams' play was pivotal for the Lobos, while Tim Jacobs came off the bench to help the ball-control issues. Jacobs finished with four assists and one turnover.



Oral Roberts: Entered the game having topped the century mark in consecutive games, but the Golden Eagles scored just 27 in the first half to rule out a third straight triple-digit output.

New Mexico: Had its best half behind the arc this season, shooting 8 of 11 on 3-pointers in the first 20 minutes. The Lobos missed their first three 3-pointers of the second half and finished 10 of 20 for the game.


New Mexico next plays Saturday at Purdue.

Oral Roberts is home Dec. 9 against John Brown.

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