Zias win season opener
COLORADO SPRINGS — Eastern New Mexico University’s starting front line combined for 36 points and 31 rebounds on Sunday and the Zias defeated Colorado-Colorado Springs 65-55 in the women’s basketball opener for both teams.
Sophomore Elizabeth Richards scored 14 points and grabbed eight rebounds, junior Loren Scarlett added 12 points and nine boards and senior Jereena Bosket posted a double-double with 10 points and 14 caroms as the Zias, trailing much of the early going, took the lead for good late in the first half.
The Zias dominated the boards 59-33, with six players grabbing at least seven rebounds, and also shot 22 of 27 from the free throw line — 15 of 15 in the first half — to just 9 of 20 for CU-Colorado Springs. Those advantages allowed ENMU to survive 31 turnovers.
Forward Meghan McGee and guard B.J. McNeally led the Lions with 14 points apiece.
After Richards’ 3-point play gave the Zias a 5-3 lead with just over two minutes gone, Colorado Springs went on a 12-2 run fueled by eight points from McNeally — including a 3-point shot and a 3-point play — for a 15-7 lead with 13 1/2 minutes to go in the half.
McGee added a 3-pointer to make it 18-9 with 13 minutes left, but Richards kicked off a 9-0 run with five points — two layups, the latter turning into a 3-point play — to tie it at the 11:31 mark.
ENMU went in front for good 28-27 on guard Kristi McGuire’s jumper with 4:09 left, and took a 37-31 halftime lead on Laci Lee’s 3-point play in the final minute.
The Zias built their lead to 12 points on baskets by Lee, Richards and Bosket in the first two minutes of the second half. The Lions made several runs, getting as close as 56-52 with 6:13 left on a basket by McNeally.
But CU-Colorado Springs managed only one more free throw until Courtney Wallace scored a layup with nine seconds left for the game’s final points.