Charleston, SC (SportsNetwork.com) - Kendall Williams scored 29 points and dished out 10 assists, as the 19th-ranked New Mexico Lobos survived to beat UAB 97-94 in two overtimes in the Charleston Classic.
Not once, but twice New Mexico beat the buzzer to extend the game.
Williams did it the first time, hitting a running 3-pointer at the end of regulation. Alex Kirk then knocked down trey from the top of the key in the waning seconds of the first overtime.
New Mexico's Cleveland Thomas nailed a 3-pointer to break a 92-92 tie inside the final minute of the second extra session.
After Chad Frazier made two free throws for the Blazers with 30 seconds left, Williams turned the ball over after taking the inbounds pass. Frazier, however, had his shot blocked by Obij Aget on the next UAB possession.
Aget was fouled and converted 1-of-2 free throws to put the Lobos up 96-94 with 18 seconds to go.
Robert Williams and Rod Rucker then both missed close-range jumpers that could have tied the game for UAB. Nick Banyard was fouled after securing the defensive rebound and hit 1-of-2 at the foul line with 1.6 seconds remaining.
The Blazers failed at their chance to force another five minutes as they couldn't get a shot off before the horn.
"I'm proud of my team," said New Mexico coach Craig Neal. "I gotta give UAB a lot of credit. They played hard, they played together. We've been through a lot of these, but that might have been the most exciting one."
Cameron Bairstow had 21 points and eight rebounds for New Mexico (3-0), which got 16 points, 11 boards and five blocks from Kirk.
The Lobos advanced to play Massachusetts in Friday's semifinals. UAB (3-1) will play Nebraska on the same day in the consolation bracket.
Frazier had a career-high 34 points, while Rucker grabbed a personal-best 20 rebounds to go along with 18 points on a ghastly 3-of-22 shooting.
The Lobos controlled the back end of the opening half after the teams were deadlocked at 16-16 at the midway point.
A Bairstow dunk began a run of seven straight New Mexico points, and Hugh Greenwood later buried a 3-pointer to extend the lead to 34-22. New Mexico settled for a 35-26 cushion at the break.
Bairstow hit a jumper to put the Lobos up 49-40 with 13-plus minutes to go in the second half.
The Blazers, however, countered with a 16-4 run to move ahead. Rucker supplied seven points during the burst, which Williams capped with a layup for a 56-53 advantage.
UAB was seeking its first win against a ranked team since a 67-57 triumph over then-No. 16 Butler on Dec. 16, 2009 ... Thomas had 10 points and seven boards.