Zias routed by Abilene, 83-63

Freedom Newspapers

ABILENE, Texas — Sophomore guard Alex Guiton led five Abilene Christian players in double figures with 20 points on Saturday as the Wildcats posted an 83-63 Lone Star Conference South Division women’s victory over Eastern New Mexico University.

Senior guard Kierstan Barbee added 14 points and team highs of 16 rebounds and six assists for Abilene Christian (7-10, 1-3 South).

“Abilene played well,” ENMU women’s coach Dan Buzard said. “They shot the ball well and attacked the basket. They did a lot of things we wanted to do.”

Senior post Tiana Bryant led ENMU (8-9, 0-3) with 20 points despite being limited to 24 minutes. She did not start and was hampered by what Buzard said was either a virus or perhaps food poisoning.

The division’s preseason favorite, Abilene Christian took the lead for good at 12-9 when guard Ashley King converted all three shots when fouled on a 3-pointer with 13:16 left in the half. Later in the half, the Wildcats went on a 14-0 run for a 20-point cushion and kept the Zias at bay the rest of the way.

ENMU had five more field goals and 25 more attempts than the Wildcats, but Abilene Christian owned a 47-33 edge on the boards and converted 36-of-45 free throws compared to 12-of-16 for the Zias.

Down 41-27 at halftime, ENMU got the margin under double figures briefly when Erika Cook’s layup made it 48-39 with 13:50 left before the Wildcats scored the next nine points.

Missy Kirkland’s basket with 3:17 to go pulled the Zias back to a 10-point deficit, but they did not score in the remaining time.

“It wasn’t a lack of playing hard,” Buzard said of his team’s performance. “We just didn’t execute our game plan.

“We have five people out there, and sometimes it seems like four of them are executing and one will be lost in never-neverland.”

Junior guard Heather Brown added 10 points for the Zias, who begin a five-game South homestand on Wednesday against Tarleton State.

“Maybe we’ll play them all better at home,” Buzard said.