Mustangs rally to top ENMU men
February 5, 2020
PORTALES — Senior guard Elijah Holifield scored 23 points and Western New Mexico erased an eight-point deficit with less than 14 minutes remaining to beat Eastern New Mexico University 81-76 in Lone Star Conference men’s basketball on Saturday at Greyhound Arena.
Sophomore guard Tony Avalos scored 15 points off the bench for the Mustangs (5-16, 4-9 LSC), while senior guard-forward C.J. Vanbeekum added 14 and sophomore guard Malik Sanders fell just short of a triple-double with 12 points, nine rebounds and eight assists.
Junior guard-forward Jose Serrano led the Greyhounds (6-13, 6-8) with 13 points off the bench and junior guard Garrick Sherrod added 12, including 7-of-7 from the free throw line. But the Hounds, who shot 57 percent en route to a 45-42 halftime lead, went just 7-of-25 from the floor after the intermission, including 0-for-9 from 3-point range.
ENMU appeared to take control with a 9-0 run capped by a dunk from Serrano for a 57-49 lead with 13:35 left, but it didn’t take the Mustangs long to counter. They pulled to 59-58 on a layup by Rodney Simon with 10:56 to go, and went in front 67-66 on a layup by Elijah Holifield with 4:09 left.
Two free throws by junior guard Darius Sawyer gave the Hounds their final lead at 72-71 with 2:35 to go. Holifield countered with a pair of baskets, though, and the teams traded points from there until Sanders converted four free throws in the final 17 seconds for Western’s biggest margin of the game.
ENMU returns to action with LSC matchups on Thursday night at Angelo State and on Saturday afternoon at Lubbock Christian.