ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Alex Kirk scored 11 of his 12 points in the second half and No. 18 New Mexico overcame a sluggish start to beat Valparaiso 65-52 on Saturday night.
Chad Adams also scored 12 for the Lobos (10-0).
Ryan Broekhoff had 24 points for the Crusaders (6-3), but none of his teammates managed to score more than seven.
The Lobos forced a season-high 23 turnovers, and turned them into 22 points.
After a lackluster first half during which both teams struggled to score, New Mexico grabbed control right out of the locker room.
Kevin Van Wijk scored the first basket of the second half to get Valparaiso within two, but the Lobos responded with a 12-3 run. Tony Snell had a layup and a 3-pointer during the key stretch.
New Mexico enjoyed a big advantage at the foul line, making 20 of 31 compared to 8 for 13 for the Crusaders.
One of Kirk's biggest plays didn't show up in the box score. After Kendall Williams was intentionally fouled midway through the second half, Kirk grabbed him to keep Williams from retaliating.
Williams, one of the team's leaders, had six assists and three of New Mexico's nine steals.
The Crusaders forced 10 turnovers, but only created three points off the miscues.