ALBUQUERQUE — J.R. Giddens scored six straight points midway through the second half to help New Mexico defeat Southern Utah 57-48 Wednesday night.

Giddens finished with a game-high 14 points, including 10 in the second half. His nine rebounds was a game high and he equaled a career-high in assists with six.

The game was close until Giddens took over with 10:35 left on a reverse layup to break a 36-all tie. It started New Mexico (7-0) on a deciding 17-4 run in which Giddens had eight of the points, including an emphatic dunk.

The Thunderbirds (1-5) got 11 points from Rick Roberts and a game-high eight assists from Dave Marek.

Except for the start of the game, the Lobos hardly looked like a team with an average victory margin of nearly 30 points at home, and SUU didn't resemble a squad that had lost three in a row.

After Nick Livi knocked down a 3-pointer to begin the game for SUU, New Mexico ran off the next 12 points and it appeared it was going to be another runaway for the Lobos. But the Thunderbirds recovered and the teams were tied at 23 going into the half.

The Thunderbirds missed a chance to hold the lead with eight seconds left in the first half when Orlando Griego missed a foul shot after a basket.

New Mexico 57

S. Utah 48