Zias rally to nip Midwestern State
WICHITA FALLS, Texas — Junior forward Til-Lois Fifer scored 21 points and grabbed 10 rebounds and hit the deciding two free throws with 50 seconds left as Eastern New Mexico University’s women rallied from a 10-point deficit with six minutes left to beat Midwestern State 51-49 in a Lone Star Conference South Division clash Saturday night.
The Zias (7-17, 2-7 South) put a little distance between themselves and the last-place Mustangs (6-16, 0-9), who lost their ninth game in a row. It was ENMU’s second win in 12 games, both at Midwestern State’s expense.
Fifer was one of the few players at all effective on offense in the game, going 8-for-11 from the floor and 5-of-6 from the foul line.
Junior forward Cat Clay also had a double-double for the Zias with 10 points and 10 rebounds. She hit a pair of free throws with 2:23 left to pull ENMU to 49-47 before fifer tied the score at the 1:36 mark with a driving layup.
After Fifer’s go-ahead free throws, Midwestern State turned the ball over with 35 seconds left, and the Zias were able to run out the clock despite missing two shots because they managed to corral both offensive rebounds.
Sophomore forward Savannah Carter was Midwestern’s only player in double figures, finishing with 16 points. The teams combined to shoot just 30 percent from the floor, including 5-of-39 from 3-point range.
ENMU outscored the Mustangs 14-2 over the final six minutes, with Midwestern’s only points in that time coming on a jumper by senior forward Andrea Buben with 3:25 to go. After going up 47-37 on a basket by Carver with 6:01 to go, the Mustangs went 1-of-9 from the field with four turnovers the rest of the way.
Midwestern State shot 26 percent from the field in the second half and misfired on all 10 of its 3-point attempts.
Meantime, Clay struggled for much of the night, but brought the Zias to within four by hitting a 3-pointer with 3:55 to go. After Buben’s basket, freshman guard Nikki Ingram and Clay each made two free throws to get the Zias close.
Both teams did shoot well from the foul line, with the Zias going 16-of-21 and the Mustangs converting 13-of-16.
ENMU led only two other times in the game, both by one point in the first half.