NCAA

Kirk helps New Mexico stay unbeaten

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Kirk helps New Mexico stay unbeaten

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) 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.

VCU loses fourth consecutive game to St. Louis

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VCU loses fourth consecutive game to St. Louis

ST. LOUIS -- Javonte Perkins had 25 points as Saint Louis topped VCU 80-62 on Friday night.

Hasahn French had 18 points for Saint Louis (19-8, 8-6 Atlantic 10 Conference). Terrence Hargrove Jr. added 11 points. Jordan Goodwin had 10 points.

Marcus Santos-Silva had 11 points for the Rams (17-10, 7-7), who have now lost four consecutive games. De'Riante Jenkins added 10 points.

Saint Louis plays Saint Joseph's at home on Wednesday. VCU faces UMass on the road on Wednesday.

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Tristan Thompson calls Bradley Beal one of the best shooting guards in the league

Tristan Thompson calls Bradley Beal one of the best shooting guards in the league

Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson spoke with reporters after the team's victory over the Wizards Friday night, praising Bradley Beal, who was snubbed from All-Star consideration this season despite averaging nearly 30 points-per-game.

The Cavaliers held the Wizards to just 21 points in the fourth quarter, and Thompson said their main focus was neutralizing Beal.

"The Wizards are really good offensively when they are making their runs," Thompson said postgame. "Bradley Beal is an All-Star in our league. One of the top-three two-guards in our league right now, so we were just trying to make it tough for him."

Beal finished the night with 26 points, but struggled from the floor. Beal shot 9-for-28 from the floor and the Cavaliers' stingy defense was clearly a factor.

Beal and the Wizards will have a chance to get back on track on Sunday night at Capital One Arena when they host the Chicago Bulls for the final time this season.

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