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New Mexico beats No. 8 Cincinnati

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By The Associated Press
Thursday, Dec. 27, 2012, 11:24 p.m.

CINCINNATI — Alex Kirk scored 15 points and blocked Sean Kilpatrick's shot just before the buzzer Thursday night, preserving New Mexico's 55-54 win that handed No. 8 Cincinnati its first loss.

New Mexico (13-1) rallied in the second half behind its 7-foot center, who hit a 3-pointer, got a team-high seven rebounds and slapped away Kilpatrick's jumper off an inbounds play.

Cincinnati (12-1) moved up to No. 8 this week — its highest ranking in nine years — and was trying to go 13-0 for only sixth time in school history. The Bearcats couldn't salvage a tight game against a team known for knocking off top teams.

Pitt plays the Bearcats at noon Monday at Petersen Events Center.

The Lobos have won six of their last seven games against ranked teams, leaving them 14-6 against the Top 25 during coach Steve Alford's six seasons.

Kirk scored nine of his 15 points in the second half and led a surge that gave the Lobos their first lead. Kilpatrick had 15 points, but was only 5 of 22 from the field.

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