Kansas was coming off defeats at the hands of Colorado and Florida and had lost three times in its last four games. In order to get back on track, the Jayhawks had to beat a New Mexico team that had just beaten Cincinnati and was intent on making a case for the Top 25.
Though the final margin was 17 points, the game was in doubt almost the entire way. The Jayhawks led by one at halftime before extending their advantage to 13 early in the second half. But that lead shrunk quickly with a 10-3 run from the Lobos, led by eight points from Kendall Williams.
Williams and Cameron Bairstow had 24 points each for New Mexico on a combined 14-for-28 shooting effort. The rest of the team shot just 4-of-26, and no other Lobo scored more than five points.
Up by just five with 7:52 to play, Kansas outscored New Mexico 17-5 to end the game. Joel Embiid backed up Ellis's performance with 18 points to help Kansas.