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Lady Buffs knock Zias out of LSC hunt

CMI staff

Playing the sixth-ranked team in NCAA Division II, Eastern New Mexico University’s women gave a solid account of themselves in Saturday night’s Lone Star Conference and regular-season finale at Greyhound Arena.

West Texas A&M, though, proved to be too much, finishing the game on a 29-7 run after the Zias pulled to within six points midway though the second half for an 86-58 victory.

Junior forward Chontiquah White (17 points, 12 rebounds) and senior forward Devin Griffin (16 points, 10 rebounds) posted double-doubles as the Lady Buffs (24-2, 15-1 LSC) finally pulled away in the closing minutes.

Junior forward Tori Tucker scored 15 points for the Zias, including a 14-point run with four 3-pointers that transformed an 8-3 deficit into a 17-16 lead with 12 1/2 minutes left in the first half.

Griffin gave the Lady Buffs the lead for good 22-20 with a pair of free throws and WT went on a 14-3 run for an 11-point lead. The margin grew to 42-32 at halftime.

The Zias (6-20, 4-12), who ended the season on an 11-game losing streak, had one more run left in them, though, as sophomore guard Jordyn Cooper scored five points and junior guard Lakeeyscia Griffin added a 3-pointer to make it 47-43 with 15:46 to go.

A basket and two free throws by freshman Cara Barnard kept the Zias within 57-51 with just under 12 minutes left, but Griffin’s 3-point play started WT on a 10-2 run that essentially ended all doubt.

All five starters reached double figures for the Lady Buffs, with Casey Land adding 16 points, Raven Gerald 12 and Lacee Logan 10.

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