DURANGO, Colo. – For the second year in a row, Fort Lewis beat Eastern New Mexico University’s men on a buzzer-beater.
The 15th-ranked Skyhawks got a last-second basket in the lane from senior guard Junior Garbrah and nipped the Greyhounds 75-74 on Saturday night to cap FLC’s Skyhawk Classic.
Last season, Carlsbad High alum Brendan Boatwright hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to hand ENMU a season-opening 84-81 setback in a game played at New Mexico Highlands.
Senior guard/forward Jahcoree Ealy, who tallied a personal-best 29 points on Friday night in a victory over Adams State, followed that up with a 28-point outing in 38 minutes against the Skyhawks (3-1). He went 11-of-19 from the field and 6-of-6 on free throws.
Senior guard Greg Johnson added 19 points, going 9-for-9 from the foul line. After shooting 30 percent from the floor in the first half and falling behind 38-24 at the break, the Hounds (2-2) went 16-of-29 in the second stanza and scored 50 points.
Johnson delivered two charity tosses with 10 seconds remaining to give the Hounds a 74-73 lead before Garbrah took the ball down the right side and into the painted area for the game-winner.
Junior guard Obi Agbim led Fort Lewis with 21 points. Junior forward Brayden Carter and junior guard Jhei-R Jones chipped in 11 apiece.
ENMU erased a nine-point deficit with a 12-1 surge, capped by two Johnson free throws, for a 63-61 lead with 5:47 to go. The teams exchanged the lead several times the rest of the way.
The Skyhawks, who beat ENMU 82-62 at Greyhound Arena on Nov. 11, have now won 11 of the last 12 meetings with the Hounds, including the last six, and lead the all-time series 16-12.
ENMU’s next outing is a 7:30 p.m. start on Nov. 30 against St. Edward’s in the Hounds’ Lone Star Conference opener at Greyhound Arena.
ENMU women fall to Mountaineers – At Gunnison, Colo., Western Colorado posted its first win of the season while dealing ENMU’s women their first loss in a 66-58 decision on Saturday night.
Junior forward Rachel Cockman scored 20 points and freshman guard Jayda Maves added 16 for the Mountaineers (1-3), who opened a 32-18 halftime lead and held off the Greyhounds (3-1) the rest of the way.
ENMU led early 7-3, but a 3-pointer by Maves and a jumper by junior guard/forward Erika Lane gave Western Colorado the lead for good. The Hounds didn’t get closer than four points until pulling to 53-50 with 5:57 to go after a 3-pointer by freshman guard Jaz Salon capped a 7-0 run.
Senior guard Rachel Novak answered with a 3-pointer on the next trip down and the Mountaineers held on from there.
ENMU forced 28 turnovers, but the Mountaineers shot 51 percent from the floor (20-of-39), including 10-of-20 from 3-point range with six players contributing in that area. WCU held the Hounds to 36 percent shooting (20-of-56) and 4-of-19 from distance.
Senior guard Jamila Nansikombi-Gunter collected 19 points and five steals for ENMU, while senior guard/forward Deja Adrian added 15 points and Salon tallied 11. The Hounds collected 17 steals in the game, the fifth-most in program history, and shot a perfect 14-of-14 from the free throw line.
ENMU returns to Colorado this weekend, facing Colorado State-Pueblo on Friday and Colorado-Colorado Springs on Saturday to wrap up its non-conference slate.