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Cold shooting buries ENMU women against WT

Hounds go 1-for-22 from 3-point range in 61-44 setback


December 3, 2017

Kevin Wilson

Eastern New Mexico senior Mikaehla Connor drives the lane past West Texas A&M's Reagan Haynes in the second half of Saturday's Lone Star Conference matchup.

PORTALES — The Greyhounds went 0-for-13 from the field in the first quarter of Saturday's Lone Star Conference women's basketball game against West Texas A&M — resulting in just one point in the period. In the end, Eastern New Mexico University finished 14-for-58, including just 1-for-22 from beyond the arc, in a 61-44 defeat.

"Our effort was phenomenal today. You look at it, two different styles of teams — I understand. But, the other night (against UT-Permian Basin) we had 31 turnovers, and only 11 tonight. I don't think it was our shot selection tonight, I thought we took good shots," Greyhounds coach Josh Prock explained.

"We were 1-for-22 from the 3-point line - this team is way better than that. You hit three or four of those and now, all of a sudden, it's a three or four possession game, and it's a completely different game. We just gotta continue to get our shots up and get our confidence going again - that's what's low right now."

ENMU (3-4, 0-2 LSC) came out flat for the second game in a row, as shots left and right just couldn't fall for the Hounds. West Texas A&M (7-0, 2-0) got out to a 6-1 lead, halfway through the first period, as Eastern initially tried to challenge the Buffs' size inside, but to no avail.

West Texas then began pushing ENMU back out beyond the arc, but despite several good open looks, the Hounds could not convert, going 0-for-6 from downtown in the first quarter, and 0-for-17 to start the game.

On the other end, ENMU managed to overcome the Buffs' major size advantage in the opening quarter, holding the Buffs to just eight shot attempts and 11 points overall.

Eastern soon found its rhythm on the offensive end, as Alivia Lewis and Kaylee Edgemon hit back-to-back jumpers to start the second quarter, cutting the deficit to 13-5.

West Texas, however, countered by attacking with running layups inside, as the Buffs began to loosen up the Greyhounds defense. A 7-0 run soon followed, and eventually, the Buffs took a 32-15 lead into the half.

"I thought we were there in the catch, I thought our defense did dictate what we were doing all throughout the game. (However, Eastern) still had some open looks there," Buffs coach Kristen Mattio said. "I thought defensively, we really controlled the game. We did a decent job controlling the perimeter, and a decent job controlling the paint — for them to not get easy buckets."

Eastern shot a respectable 6-for-14 from the field in the second quarter, but West Texas A&M countered by going 9-for-10. The second half proved to be much of the same, as the Greyhounds shot just 8-for-31 from the field, and never got any closer than 14 points. Mikaehla Connor led the way with 11 points, while West Texas was paced by Madison Parker's 15 points on 7-of-10 shooting.

Kevin Wilson

Greyhound freshman post Alivia Lewis drives the lane against West Texas A&M's Tiana Parker in the second half of Saturday's game.

For the Buffs, beating a conference rival in impressive fashion was a pleasing performance for Mattio and company, but she still believes Eastern will only get stronger as the season wears on, especially when the two rematch at West Texas A&M later this season.

As for the Hounds, they'll begin a three-game roadtrip, starting with Texas A&M-Commerce next Thursday. For Prock, correcting the woes of this young season will be key in being successful on the upcoming roadtrip, as ENMU will try to earn its first league win of the year.

"We just want to see how we respond. We just need to continue with the effort and stuff like that, and if they do that, we'll be fine," Prock said. "Last year, if you look at it, we started off pretty great and didn't finish as well.

"Our goal this year is we gotta finish strong. I'm proud of the kids' effort, I'm proud of what they gave today. We just gotta get some things corrected, and it's still a long year."


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