By Dave Wagner
The Eastern New Mexico University Zias aren’t about to go down easily.
Down by 12 points with less than 13 minutes left in the second half, the Zias dug down to force overtime on a last-second baseline shot by freshman guard Heather Brown, then pulled away in the second overtime to beat Midwestern State 92-85 and maintain a share of the Lone Star Conference South Division lead.
Brown, bothered by a sore knee, led five Zias in double figures with 17 points while junior guard Laci Lee, who fouled out in the final seconds of regulation, and sophomore forward Elizabeth Richards added 16 apiece.
Senior post Jereena Bosket (16 points) scored five consecutive baskets in a four-minute stretch to help bring the Zias back late, and backup guard Kristi McGuire had 10.
ENMU (12-9, 7-2 South) has won nine of its last 11 games.
“It was a classic game,” ENMU women’s coach Dan Buzard said. “It’s just one of those games where you’re glad to escape with a win. It’s one that could’ve gone either way.”
MSU (15-7, 4-5) put four players in double figures, led by senior guard Meosha Walker with 25 points.
“Coach kept telling us they were playing tougher than us, and taking us out of our offense,” Brown said. “We all just started picking it up and making plays.”
Sonya Calhoun’s basket off an Eastern turnover put the Lady Indians up 53-41 with 12:41 left. The Zias, who had just four turnovers in the first half, committed 10 in the first eight minutes of the second half.
Still trailing by eight with 3 1/2 minutes to go, the Zias went on a 15-7 run to force overtime. Neither team led by more than two in the first overtime, with Bosket and Richards missing shots from the lane in the closing seconds that could have won it.
Lee fouled out with 5.2 seconds left in regulation, and MSU’s Haley Hobson made two free throws to give the Lady Indians a 72-70 lead. Then Brown took the inbound pass, streaked down the right side and fired up a 10-foot baseline shot as time expired.
“We really stepped it up, especially in the overtimes,” Bosket said. “I was getting tired of being in overtime. We had to put them away, and we finally did.”
Bosket and Tiana Bryant each hit one free throw to start the second overtime, then Richards drew a foul trying to grab the missed second shot. MSU coach Shannon Burks was then called for a technical, and Richards and Brown each converted two free throws.
Eastern led by 10 points in the final minute.
“I wouldn’t trade my kids for a million dollars,” Buzard said. “Even though we were a little sluggish tonight, I thought we competed well.”