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Big second half moves ENMU men's basketball team to 3-1

 

November 19, 2017



MONMOUTH, Ore. — Things were a little dicey for the Eastern New Mexico University men’s basketball team in the first half, but the Greyhounds’ offense sizzled in the second, allowing them to take command and thump Azusa Pacific 86-70 on Saturday at the Western Oregon/Doubletree by Hilton D2 Shootout.

The win lifted ENMU to 3-1, matching the program’s best four-game start since 2005-06. The Greyhounds also bounced back nicely from their first defeat of the season, Friday’s 99-89 overtime loss to Dixie State.

“Today’s win was an incredible one,” ENMU head coach Tres Segler said. “Our guys poured into each other and bonded together to win a hard-fought game against a very good Azusa Pacific team. I was so proud of the way our guys continuously encouraged each other in order to keep the energy high and to push through the adversity we faced.”

The Hounds actually trailed by a point, 35-34, at halftime. They had shot a workmanlike 48 percent (12-of-25) from the field in the first half with no threes, and hit 76.9 percent (10-of-13) from the free-throw line. They were taking fairly good care of the ball, though, with only four turnovers compared to seven for Azusa Pacific.

Lamarquis Thompson led Eastern in first-half scoring with seven points.

The second half was quite another story. ENMU’s offense finally caught fire, dropping in 52 points. The Greyhounds shot a gaudy 54.8 percent (17-of-31) from the field and 42.9 percent (3-for-7) from beyond the arc, plus a scalding 93.8 percent (15-of-16) from the foul line during that half.

Thompson doubled his first-half point output in the second, knocking down 14 points for 21 total. Overall, he shot 88 percent (7-of-8) from the field.

Teammate Andre Hughes also sank 14 in the second half, giving him 18 on the day to go with 12 rebounds, his first double-double of the young season.

“Andre woke up in a huge way today,” Segler said. “He proved once again that his versatility as a scoring forward is truly special. What made his night so special was his willingness to be unselfish.”

ENMU’s Zach Parker knocked down 11 of his 16 points in the second.

The Hounds were on more and more of a roll as the second half progressed. In fact, their largest lead of 16 came in the game’s last minute, and was the final margin.

Because of that productive second half, Eastern wound up shooting an impressive 51.8 percent (29-of-56) from the field, 42.9 percent from three-point range and 86.2 percent from the line, overall.

Defensively, ENMU held Azusa Pacific to another 35 points in the second half. Overall, the Cougars shot only 38 percent from the field, 32 percent from three-point land and 71 percent from the stripe.

Eastern returns to action after the holiday, with a Black Friday game against St. Edwards in Austin, Texas. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m.

 

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