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ENMU women notch victory over Mustangs

WICHITA FALLS, Texas – It’s still going to take a lot of work, but Eastern New Mexico University’s women kept their slim hopes of a Lone Star Conference tournament berth alive on Thursday night.

Senior guard/forward Deja Adrian spearheaded a game-ending 6-0 run over the final two minutes to lift the Greyhounds past Midwestern State 65-60 in the first game of a four-game road swing.

Freshman guard Jaz Salon scored a season-best 22 points while Adrian followed closely with 21 for the Greyhounds (8-13, 4-11 LSC), who are still seventh in the eight-team West Division and 14th overall in the LSC. The two division winners and the next six best in-conference record advance to the LSC meet, scheduled for March 8-10 at Comerica Center in Frisco, Texas.

Texas A&M-Kingsville, Cameron and Arkansas-Fort Smith are currently tied for eighth at 6-10. With seven games remaining, ENMU probably needs to win five of them to have a puncher’s chance.

Thursday’s win gives the Hounds a sweep of the season series against the Mustangs. Ironically, they edged MSU 65-61 on Jan. 13 at Greyhound Arena, and in that one Adrian helped pull out the win by converting 8-of-10 free throws in the final minute.

Junior forward Ishuana Hunter nearly had a double-double for the Hounds, adding eight points and a team-high 12 rebounds.

Junior guard Nikki Green led all scorers with a season-best 29 points off the bench for the Mustangs (5-17, 5-11). She was 9-of-15 from the floor and 5-of-8 from downtown.

“It feels good to get a road win,” ENMU women’s coach Blake Huber said. “We’ve been so close in so many road games this year, and our players deserved this win.”

ENMU used an 11-5 run to take a 19-15 lead at the quarter. Salon scored six points in the first two minutes of the second frame, but the Mustangs went on an 11-0 run to grab a five-point advantage.

ENMU then close out the half outscoring MSU 10-2 to lead by three. When play resumed the Mustangs countered with an 11-0 surge to open an eight-point cushion.

Salon’s layup pulled the Hounds even 53-53 before Adrian’s basket gave them the lead. Green’s 3 gave Midwestern a 60-59 edge with two minutes left, but ENMU held the Mustangs scoreless from there and Adrian hit two clinching foul shots with four seconds left.

Midwestern State 93, ENMU 54 (men) – The Greyhounds had their highest-scoring game of the season against Midwestern State (108-91 at Greyhound Arena), and Thursday they posted their lowest point total of the campaign in a lopsided loss to the Mustangs.

ENMU (14-7, 10-5) remained in third place in the West Division and fourth overall in the LSC when Angelo State (15-7, 10-6) lost at home to Lubbock Christian 75-50.

Twelve players scored for Midwestern (13-9, 7-9), led by senior guard Pierre Sanders with 18 points. Junior guard Bakari Lastrap and junior forward Austin Lewis added 13 apiece, while freshman forward Antwan Taylor tossed in 10.

“Tonight was just one of those nights,” ENMU men’s coach Brent Huber said. “Credit to Midwestern, I thought they played incredible on both ends of the floor. We couldn’t find the basket and didn’t do our job on the other end.”

ENMU, averaging nearly 90 ppg coming in, had only suffered one loss this season by more than three points – an 82-62 decision to then-No. 15 Fort Lewis at Greyhound Arena in the team’s second game of the season. That was also their previous scoring low.

Lastrap’s 3-pointer broke the scoring ice 36 seconds in and the Mustangs never looked back. Playing a third consecutive game without junior guard/forward and LSC scoring leader Jahcoree Ealy, ENMU kept it competitive for a while, but with the score 13-11 the Mustangs took off on a 24-7 surge and went on to lead 46-25 at the intermission.

For the game, ENMU – shooting 51 percent for the season coming in – finished at 26 percent on 19-of-73. Meantime, Midwestern shot 47 percent overall, hitting 14-of-31 from 3-point range.

The Mustangs posted 14 3-point baskets from eight players, led by Lastrap and Lewis with three apiece.

Junior guard Tre’Von Love finished with a season-best 17 points for the Hounds on 7-of-16 shooting, while 7-foot-3 freshman center Conrad Luczynski added 10 points and seven rebounds.

ENMU squads were slated to play Cameron on Saturday at Lawton, Okla. They finish the road swing this week with games at West Texas A&M on Thursday and at Lubbock Christian on Saturday.