The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

ENMU women seek 7-0 LSC start

 

January 12, 2017

Kevin Wilson

With six Lone Star Conference wins so far, fourth-year ENMU coach Josh Prock is already off to his best season in conference play.

PORTALES — Riding a 6-0 Lone Star Conference record, the Eastern New Mexico women's basketball team is gearing up for its toughest test of the season, a four-game stretch where it will face off with the conference's best.

The Greyhounds are off to their best conference start since the 1998-99 season. The team has also been consistently ranked in the Div. II South Central Media Poll, coming in at No. 4 this week.

Entering today's matchup with Cameron, the Greyhounds are 10-3 overall and have won three games in a row. The Aggies (4-8) are only the first obstacle in Eastern's way, with Midwestern State coming in to Greyhound Arena Saturday, followed with a two-game road stint where the Greyhounds will take on No. 2 Angelo State and Texas A&M-Kingsville.

The two-game home stint is not only important in terms of conference play, but should also provide two of the larger home crowds the Greyhounds expect to host this season. Today's game will see the stands full of local elementary school students from the surrounding area, while Saturday's matchup is Eastern's Military Appreciation Day as well as its "Best Neighbor to the North" event where members of the Clovis community will gain admittance to the arena for free.

In his fourth year as the team's head coach, Josh Prock has had a plan for where he wanted the program to be by his fourth year and so far things look like they are right on track. This is also the first year the head coach is able to put a team on the floor with solely his recruits.

"It helps for sure, but give the kids all the credit. They've bought in to exactly what we are trying to do, the vision we are trying to sell," said Prock. "That vision started four years ago though. Even those kids who have been here for my career, kids like Jordyn and Jaelyn Cooper, they all helped lay the foundation for where we are today. It's just a long road to get there and I appreciate all the kids who have been here before and are continuing it now."

One of those recruits who has not only emerged as the floor captain but a team leader as well is Jasmine Hotchkins. Averaging 6.8 points per game, the deadly outside shooter sees beyond the statistics and box scores — she sees the importance of what the team is doing as a whole and where they are headed.

"I guess as a leader it's nice to see no one is being selfish on the team. We are winning because no one is out there trying to just get theirs. We are all out there as a team and we want to win — that's the ultimate goal. There is a lot of love out there on the court and as a leader, that's what means the most," said Hotchkins, who scored 13 of her career-high 16 during a 26-0 run that turned the tides Saturday at Texas Woman's.

While the Greyhounds may not be an offensive juggernaut like the top of the LSC usually is, the key to their success comes on the defensive end. Eastern leads the conference in defensive field goal percentage, holding opponents to .345 percent from the floor.

Not only is the team's perimeter defense something to behold, but the Greyhounds' inside presence has proved dominant, leading the conference in both blocked shots (4.31) and defensive rebounds (29.5) per game.

Prock said, "If you look at our game the other day against Texas Women's, we struggled on offense, but they couldn't score. We did a great job defensively and that's what we want to keep doing, guard people and rebound. They always say defensive rebounding wins championships and that's what we try to do."

According to Hotchkins, Eastern has no intention of slowing down, despite their record.

"What has changed this year is team dynamics - we have a different outlook. Now that we are winning, we have a different view. We come to practice and we go hard because we've been winning and we've got that taste of winning."

Greyhound men's basketball - Coming off its first conference win of the season, the Eastern New Mexico men's basketball team has little time to enjoy the victory, as they are entering a tough stretch of the season where the team needs to pick up some must-win games.

The 78-71 win over Western New Mexico moved the Greyhounds closer to the .500 win mark, now sitting at 7-8 and 1-4 in the Lone Star. Eastern is currently locked in a three-way race with Western and Texas A&M-Kingsville for the final spot in the LSC playoffs.

While it isn't even midway through conference play, teams need to be looking harder at records with the addition of two teams to the conference. The additional competition means there are no free passes to the eight-team postseason tournament and two teams will remain at home instead of in Allen, Texas.

Beyond helping the team's record, Greyhound coach Tres Segler hopes the win will resonate with the rest of the LSC. Kingsville picked up its first conference win as well over LSC top dog Tarleton State last week, making these next few games for the Greyhounds even more important.

Segler said, "Even though that's their (Kingsville) first win in conference, that sends shock waves through the conference saying 'don't take what we've done so far as who we are.' My hope is that we've sent some of the same shock waves out. But no, now is the time to put our money where our mouth is."

While obviously winning has always been at the top of the list for Segler and his squad, facing a tough stretch in the coming weeks is bringing the Greyhounds' conference record front and center - Especially with Eastern taking on Segler's former university, Midwestern State.

"Even from the outset that has been in the back of my mind . . . While it was at the back of my mind, now it is at the forefront of my mind, making the LSC tournament is a real goal. That is something that because of the makeup of the LSC we haven't had to worry about for nine years. Now it's an everyday thing we have to worry about."

The Greyhounds will kickoff the gauntlet with Cameron today, a team that will test the versatility of Eastern. According to Segler, Cameron runs a different scheme from the rest of the LSC.

Playing a much smaller lineup, the Aggies (10-6, 3-3 LSC) field a quick and dangerous five where their tallest player only comes in at 6-foot-4. While the smaller team may not make many of their shots, they are volume shooters and rank second in the Lone Star in shot attempts.

 

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