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Zias crushed by Northeastern State

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — A successful season for Eastern New Mexico University came down to a crashing end Tuesday night, as Northeastern State routed the shorthanded Zias 77-46 Tuesday night at Jack Dobbins Fieldhouse.

Leslie Warner had a game-high 20 points to lead four in double figures for Northeastern State, the Lone Star Conference North Division champion. The Zias, the fourth seed in the LSC’s South Division, played without injured starters Laci Lee and Jereena Bosket in their season finale.

Lee (ankle) and Bosket (concussion) were both injured in Saturday’s regular season finale at Abilene Christian, a 75-42 loss that helped seed the Zias against Northeastern.

The Lady Reds (22-6) took advantage of the Zia woes, as they never trailed and led 41-17 at the half. Alicia Keys added 14 points for Northeastern, while Rikki Hall and Mindy Foster had 11 each. Hall also had a game-high 11 rebounds.

Elizabeth Richards scored 17 points to lead the Zias, followed by Tiana Bryant with 13. Nobody else reached double figures for ENMU (16-12), which was held to 29.2 percent shooting and outscored 41-1 on bench points.

The Zias, who were picked last in the conference’s preseason poll in the eight-team South Division, were in a three-way tie for first heading into the final weekend of the regular season. Still, Eastern more than doubled last year’s win total (seven) in Dan Buzard’s second season.

Buzard could not be reached for comment Tuesday night.