Zias whip Montana State-Billings, improve to 3-0

Freedom Newspapers

CANYON, Texas — Eastern New Mexico University used three scoring runs of at least nine points in overcoming a 10-point, first-half deficit en route to an 82-67 victory over Montana State-Billings on Friday in West Texas A&M’s Thanksgiving Shootout.

Junior forward Elizabeth Richards posted her second consecutive double-double with 19 points and 12 rebounds, leading five players in double figures for the Zias (3-0). Muleshoe freshman Lindsey Wood, elevated to the starting lineup due to an ankle injury earlier this week to starting point guard Heather Brown, played all 40 minutes and finished with 11 points, six steals and four assists.

Senior post Tiana Bryant and junior forward Rochelle Vance each added 14 points and seven rebounds, while senior post Riikka Lehtonen tossed in 10 points. Bryant also had four steals.

The Lady Jackets (1-2) were led by 20 points from junior guard Shannon Harvey, including 15 on five 3-pointers in the first half. Senior forward Tanya Petersen added 17 points while freshman reserve guard Alira Carpenter chipped in 12.

Host WT routed Fort Lewis 90-59 in Friday’s evening contest. The Zias and Lady Buffs trade opponents for today’s games, with ENMU meeting Fort Lewis at 1 p.m. (MST).

Billings converted 14-of-28 shots from 3-point range, including 9-of-14 in the first half.

The Lady Jackets led 9-0, 12-3 and 15-6 after cranking in 5-of-6 trifectas, including 3-of-4 by Harvey. ENMU pulled even 18-18, but Billings went on a 10-0 run that Harvey started and finished with 3-pointers.

Trailing 30-23, the Zias put together their first run, a 14-0 burst in which backup guard Ashley Sutton hit a go-ahead 3-pointer and another trey to cap the run.

After their lead was cut to 41-38 at halftime, the Zias opened the second half with the first nine points, holding the Lady Jackets scoreless for more than five minutes. Billings didn’t get its first field goal of the half until Carpenter’s 3-pointer with 12:47 to go pulled the Lady Jackets to 52-42.

A 3-pointer by senior guard Lisa Jellum cut the margin to 60-56 with 9:11 left, but Richards’ basket on the next trip kicked off a 13-0 run that opened a 17-point margin with 5 1/2 minutes left. Billings did not get closer than 10 points the rest of the way.

All three ENMU runs included points from five players.

ENMU 82, Montana State-Billings 67
Eastern New Mexico (3-0) —
Erika Cook 2-6 0-0 6, Elizabeth Richards 7-16 5-9 19, Tiana Bryant 5-14 4-5 14, Lindsey Wood 3-4 3-4 11, Riikka Lehtonen 4-8 2-2 10, Rochelle Vance 5-7 4-6 14, Megan Ratliff 0-2 0-0 0, Ashley Sutton 2-4 0-0 6, Missy Kirkland 1-5 0-0 2. Totals 29-66 18-26 82.
Montana State-Billings (1-2) — Lisa Jellum 3-7 0-2 9, Shannon Harvey 7-13 0-0 20, Angela Lessard 0-4 0-0 0, Tanya Petersen 5-14 5-6 17, Michelle Lieber 2-6 0-2 4, Jennifer Skrifvars 1-3 1-2 3, Alira Carpenter 4-12 1-1 12, Jetton Meadors 0-0 0-0 0, Kayla McPherson 0-3 2-2 2, Jen Smith 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 22-64 9-15 67.
Halftime — Eastern New Mexico 41, Montana State-Billings 38. 3-pointers — Eastern New Mexico 6-16 (Wood 2-3, Cook 2-4, Sutton 2-4, Bryant 0-1, Lehtonen 0-1, Ratliff 0-1, Richards 0-1, Vance 0-1), Montana-State-Billings 14-28 (Harvey 6-11, Jellum 3-4, Carpenter 3-7, Petersen 2-4, McPherson 0-2). Rebounds — Eastern New Mexico 43 (Richards 12), Montana State-Billings 43 (Lieber 9). Assists — Eastern New Mexico 18 (Wood 6), Montana State-Billings 18 (Jellum 4). Total fouls — Eastern New Mexico 16, Montana State 22. Fouled out — Petersen, Lieber. A — 75.