Commerce knocks off Hounds

PNT Staff

COMMERCE, Texas — Another long-range bomber did in Eastern New Mexico University’s men Thursday night.
Junior point guard Jermart Miller led a 63 percent outing from 3-point range for Texas A&M-Commerce, hitting 7-of-9 en route to 24 points, and the nationally 11th-ranked Lions turned back Eastern New Mexico 80-73 in a Lone Star Conference South Division matchup.
“The just kept backing up,” ENMU men’s coach Shawn Scanlan said of Commerce’s 14-of-22 showing from beyond the arc. “I’d guess that about four of those shots were from about 30 feet.”
With the win, the Lions (20-4, 7-2 South) took over sole possession of the division lead when Midwestern State lost at home to West Texas A&M 74-72 in overtime. The loss eliminated the two-time defending South champion Greyhounds from any chance at the LSC postseason tournament.
Matt Rager added 15 points for Commerce, and center Jonathan Hopkins scored 13 on 6-of-7 shooting from the field.
Senior forward Jamaal Hunnicutt and junior guard Jolen Montoya tallied 17 points for ENMU, while senior guard Irshaun Pinckney added 15 and junior guard Reggie Wallace 14.
Montoya led a solid night from long range for the Hounds, going 5-for-7 from beyond the arc. Overall, the team was 9-of-17.
“He shot it as well as he’s shot it lately,” Scanlan said of Montoya.
Miller’s first 3-pointer with 18:48 left in the half put Commerce in front for good 5-2 and started an 11-2 run that gave the Lions a 12-point lead after 6 1/2 minutes.
“They hit some tough shots, but they got behind our defense a couple of times,” Scanlan said.
ENMU used a 9-0 run over the final three minutes of the half to close to 34-30, but the teams exchanged 3-pointers on the first five baskets of the second half — three for Commerce — before Fantroy’s trey made it 46-36.
The Hounds, down by as much as 15, closed to 72-66 on two free throws by Montoya with 6:43 left, but came up empty on their next four possessions with a chance to get closer.
“We didn’t play badly,” Scanlan said. “We competed the whole game, but we did have some breakdowns.”

Lone Star Conference South
Texas A&M-Commerce 80, ENMU 73
Eastern New Mexico (9-15, 2-7) —
Irshaun Pinckney 5-12 3-4 15, Jamaal Hunnicutt 6-10 5-5 17, Edmound Elzy 0-4 0-0 0, Reggie Wallace 4-10 4-4 14, Jolen Montoya 5-10 2-4 17, Ean Forrest 0-0 0-0 0, Aaron Rodriguez 0-0 0-0 0, Daniel Sherman 2-2 2-2 6, Chad Donnell 2-3 0-0 4. Totals 24-51 16-19 73.
Texas A&M-Commerce (20-4, 7-2) — Chris Fantroy 3-6 0-0 8, Matt Rager 4-9 5-6 15, Jonathan Hopkins 6-7 0-1 13, Jermart Miller 8-12 1-2 24, Allen Walker 2-6 1-2 6, Jason Rabb 0-2 0-0 0, Kevin Walker 1-2 0-0 3, Nick Goellner 1-4 3-9 5, Kevin Carter 1-2 2-2 4, Brandon Bowie 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 27-51 12-22 80.
Halftime — Texas A&M-Commerce 34, Eastern New Mexico 30. 3-pointers — Eastern New Mexico 9-17 (Montoya 5-7, Pinckney 2-3, Wallace 2-6, Elzy 0-1), Texas A&M-Commerce 14-22 (Miller 7-9, Fantroy 2-2, Rager 2-7, Hopkins 1-1, A. Walker 1-1, K. Walker 1-2). Rebounds — Eastern New Mexico 28 (Hunnicutt 7), Texas A&M-Commerce 33 (Fantroy 13). Assists — Eastern New Mexico 24 (Pinckney 8), Texas A&M-Commerce 24 (Jermart 9). Total fouls — Eastern New Mexico 24, Texas A&M-Commerce 23. Fouled out — Hunnicutt, Montoya. A — 2,307.