HAYS, Kan. — Freshman guard Joshua Jackson scored 15 points, including six in a row in the final 2 1/2 minutes to put Eastern New Mexico University ahead for good, and the Greyhounds turned back Illinois Tech 72-65 Saturday for third place in the Westlink Classic men’s basketball tournament.
Jackson’s layup with 2:05 left gave ENMU (2-1) a 63-61 lead. He added four consecutive free throws over the next minute before Mikal Monette’s layup with 32 seconds left capped an 8-0 run.
Junior forward Ira Cross went 6-of-8 from the field to match Jackson for team honors with 15 points for the Hounds.
Sophomore forward Robert Lucky shot 11-of-15 from the field and led the Chicago-based Scarlet Hawks (1-3), an NAIA program, with 27 points and 11 rebounds. Guard Mike Stohl and Ayo Ayodele added 17 and 10 points, respectively.
Host Fort Hays State met its in-state rival, Washburn, in Saturday night’s championship game.
ENMU scored the game’s first five points and led most of the game, but had a tough time pulling away from the Scarlet Hawks. Illinois Tech took its first lead 9-8 on a basket by Lucky with 15 minutes left in the half, and held its biggest lead of the night (23-21) on Ayodale’s bucket with 7:12 remaining before the intermission.
The Hounds rallied for a 34-30 lead at the break, then went on a 16-0 run to break away from a 39-39 with 15 minutes left. Junior Larry Prince scored seven points in the run, capping it on a layup with 10:30 remaining.
Illinois Tech began to work its way back and got a 3-pointer from Stohl and five points from Lucky in an 8-0 run that tied the score with 2:14 left. Jackson scored the go-ahead bucket on the next trip down.
Fort Hays State defeated in-state rival Washburn 84-74 in Saturday’s championship game.