Albuquerque, NM (Sports Network) - Tony Snell scored a career-high 25 points on Monday to help New Mexico erase a double-digit deficit in the second half, as the Lobos defeated the Davidson Wildcats, 86-81, at University Arena.
Kendall Williams shot just 2-of-6 from the field, but converted 13-of-14 free throws en route to 17 points. The junior guard added seven assists and six rebounds for the Lobos (1-0), who posted a record of 28-7 and won the MWC Tournament last season.
De'Mon Brooks poured in a team-high 22 points, while Chris Czerapowicz, Tyler Kalinoski and Clint Mann added 12 points apiece for Davidson (1-1), which was coming off a 93-67 win in its season opener against Emory on Friday.
Davidson held a 45-31 advantage at halftime, but the Lobos used an 16-3 surge midway through the second half to knot the game at 61-61.
Snell netted six points in the run before Cleveland Thomas capped the outburst with a layup to tie the game with 9:17 remaining.
The teams exchanged buckets from there until Alex Kirk tallied four straight points to give New Mexico a 74-70 edge with 2:41 left.
Czerapowicz answered with a 3-pointer at the other end, but Williams countered with a pair of free throws and after JP Kuhlman came up empty on a 3-point try, Snell buried a triple from the corner to give the home team a 79-73 advantage with 1:10 left in the contest.
The Wildcats pulled within three on two separate occasions down the stretch, but the Lobos connected on 3-of-4 foul shots over the final 35 seconds to close out the victory.
Earlier in the game, Davidson tallied the first 10 points of the contest thanks to a pair of 3-pointers from Czerapowicz and held a 16-point edge after a Jake Cohen layup.
A three-point play from Snell cut the lead to six with 1:34 left in the half, but the Wildcats scored the final eight points of the frame, including back- to-back triples from Kalinoski to build a 45-31 advantage heading into the locker room.