Zias blow out Western

Freedom Newspapers

SILVER CITY — Senior post Tiana Bryant had a double-double and Eastern New Mexico University put four players in double figures in rolling to a season-opening 87-61 victory over Western New Mexico Tuesday night.

Senior forward Riikka Lehtonen went 6-for-7 from the field en route to a team-high 17 points for the Zias, while Bryant added 16 points and 13 rebounds. Guard Erika Cook and Heather Brown chipped in 12 and 11 points, respectively.

For the Mustangs, junior guard-forward Tannesia Manley scored 14 points while senior guard Sarah Bennetts came off the bench for four 3-pointers and 13 points.

Western took its only lead of the night at 8-7 on a 3-pointer by Bennets at the17:17 mark before the Zias went on a 17-3 run to take command.

Cook, who scored all of her points in the first half, made it 16-8 with a 3-pointer. Another 3-pointer by Brown made it 27-13 with just over eight minutes left.

The Mustangs cut their deficit to 33-26 with 3:33 left in the half, but they didn’t score the rest of the period. Two free throws and a 3-pointer by Cook and a basket by Rochelle Vance pushed the margin back to 14 at halftime.

ENMU extended the lead to 20 points (49-29) on a 3-pointer by Lehtonen with 18:23 to go. After a basket by Western, the Zias scored the next 13 points to double up the Mustangs with just under 15 minutes left.

Eastern shot 47 percent for the game, including 52 percent in the second half, and posted a 47-38 advantage on the boards. The Zias also had 21 assists, led by Brown with eight.

ENMU WOMEN’S SUMMARY

ENMU 87, Western New Mexico 61
Eastern New Mexico (1-0) — Erika Cook 2-5 6-6 12, Elizabeth Richards 4-5 1-1 9, Tiana Bryant 7-13 1-2 16, Heather Brown 4-11 0-0 11, Riikka Lehtonen 6-7 4-6 17, Rochelle Vance 2-5 2-3 6, Megan Ratliff 0-4 0-0 0, Laura Vote 1-2 0-0 3, Lindsey Wood 1-1 0-0 2, Ashley Sutton 1-6 0-0 2, Brittney Gillespie 0-0 2-4 2, Missy Kirkland 3-7 1-2 7. Totals 31-66 17-24 87.
Western New Mexico (0-1) — Crystal Smith 2-7 3-6 7, Natalie Lara 2-10 2-4 6, Tannesia Manley 5-8 3-5 14, Tiffany Bass 0-0 0-0 0, Nicole Ruegsegger 1-3 3-5 5, Kristen Kile 1-3 2-2 5, Antonia Caffey 1-4 2-2 5, Whitney Card 0-2 2-4 2, Sarah Bennetts 4-8 1-3 13, Whitney Lewis 1-5 2-5 4. Totals 17-50 20-36 61.
Halftime — Eastern New Mexico 40, Western New Mexico 26. 3-pointers — Eastern New Mexico 8-21 (Brown 3-6, Cook 2-2, Lehtonen 1-1, Vote 1-2, Bryant 1-4, Kirkland 0-1, Ratliff 0-2, Sutton 0-3), Western New Mexico 7-22 (Bennetts 4-8, Kile 1-2, Manley 1-2, Caffey 1-4, Card 0-2, Lara 0-4). Rebounds — Eastern New Mexico 47 (Bryant 13), Western New Mexico 38 (Manley 8). Assists — Eastern New Mexico 21 (Brown 8), Western New Mexico 13 (Lara 4). Total fouls — Eastern New Mexico 25, Western New Mexico 19. Fouled out — Lewis. A — 241.