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Kingsville cruises to win over Zias

 

Joshua Lucero: PNT correspondent Zia junior Jasmine Johnson and Texas A&M Kingsville Javelina Lauren Jay lunge for a loose ball in the first half of the Zias’ Wednesday evening game at Greyhound Arena.

CMI sports writer

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It simply wasn’t their night Wednesday for Eastern New Mexico University’s women.

On the other hand, Texas A&M-Kingsville was on top of its game.

link Joshua Lucero: PNT correspondent

Zia junior Jasmine Johnson and Texas A&M Kingsville Javelina Lauren Jay lunge for a loose ball in the first half of the Zias’ Wednesday evening game at Greyhound Arena.

The Javelinas jumped to a 7-0 lead in the first two minutes and the Zias never mounted a serious threat in absorbing a 72-53 Lone Star Conference shellacking at Greyhound Arena.

Junior guard Lindsey Mahone scored 18 points and grabbed eight rebounds for Kingsville (8-11, 3-6 LSC), which avenged a loss to the Zias last month in Kingsville. Mahone had plenty of help, with three teammates joining her in double figures.

Junior post Lauren Jay went 6-of-7 from the field for 14 points for the Javs, while sophomore guard Ashley Viera added 12 points and a team-high four assists. Meantime, Australian senior guard Rosalie Cutri came off the bench for 10 points.

The Javs finished 26-of-53 from the floor, a season-best 49 percent.

“We’re a lot better than our record, a lot better than we’ve played,” Kingsville coach Michael Trujillo said. “It always helps when you make shots, and we were very active on defense.”

Meantime, the Zias (6-12, 4-5) committed 29 turnovers and shot just 36 percent, including 6-of-24 in the opening half, in dropping their fourth consecutive game. They were able to stay in the hunt for a long time by converting 20-of-23 from the free throw line.

Only sophomore guard Jordyn Cooper reached double figures for ENMU with four 3-pointers for 12 points, and she didn’t get there until making a 3 with six seconds left.

“We just weren’t ready to play tonight, and that’s totally on me,” Zias coach Joshua Prock said. “Give their girls all the credit. We just came out and got beat.”

ENMU pulled to 15-12 on two free throws by Nelsha Peterson with 5:54 left in the half, but Ashley Viera’s 3-pointer and an inside basket by reserve Brittany Selby capped a 17-8 run that carried into the final minute of the half.

Jordyn Cooper’s second 3-pointer of the game — and only ENMU’s sixth field goal in 24 first-half shots — made it 32-23 at halftime.

Kingsville scored the first seven points of the second half, capped by Sheana Jones’ 3-pointer. The lead grew to 21 points with 12 minutes remaining.

“That was our most complete game since our non-conference (schedule),” Trujillo said. “This conference is so competitive, it’s hard to win anywhere. If you can pick one up on the road, that’s even better.”

Prock had used all 11 of his players before the four-minute mark of the opening half, searching for a combination that would work.

“Everything just goes better when you win,” he said. “I still believe in these kids, and I believe we’ll get it turned around.”

 
 

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