Mustangs overwhelm Hounds
Last updated 2/8/2022 at 5:22pm
PORTALES - Shots weren't falling for Eastern New Mexico University's men on Saturday. Eventually, their defense suffered as well.
The Greyhounds shot just 24 percent in the first half and never could get much going on that side of the ball in absorbing a 71-49 Lone Star Conference loss to Midwestern State at Greyhound Arena.
ENMU (6-13, 2-8 LSC) eventually warmed up a bit, but still finished at 31 percent, including 6-of-25 from 3-point range, in absorbing its seventh consecutive setback.
"Our energy right now comes from our offense," first-year Hounds coach Brent Owen said. "When we're not hitting shots, our energy falls."
In fairness, the Hounds are playing without three of their original starters - senior guard/forward Jose Serrano, who left the squad at the semester to be with his family in California, and injured juniors James Jordan (collarbone) and JaQuan Morris (knee). Still, the game was never really in doubt after the opening moments.
"We're down three starters, and obviously that's part of the problem," Owen said. "But I know we're better than what we played tonight."
Not that the Mustangs (9-13, 5-5) were setting the world on fire. But after going 3-for-14 from distance in the opening 20 minutes, they knocked down 7-of-15 in the second stanza.
ENMU led 2-0 and 4-2 early, but the Mustangs opened a nine-point lead midway through the half on a 3-pointer by sophomore guard Pierre Sanders, who finished with a game-high 21 points and was one of the few players shooting well for either side (6-of-8 from the floor).
MSU led 31-21 at the halftime. Down by 16, the Hounds went on an 8-0 run that included three baskets from senior forward Marvin Mapaga to close to 39-31 with 14 1/2 minutes left, but the Mustangs scored on their next trip and led by double figures the rest of the way.
Junior guard Terrell Wilson added 14 points and senior forward Jermane Carter 13 for Midwestern State. Meantime, Mapaga was the lone ENMU player in double figures with 15 points off the bench, and he also had team highs with seven rebounds and two blocks.
The Hounds hit the road this weekend for conference tilts on Thursday at Cameron and on Saturday at West Texas A&M.