ADA, Okla. — East Central overcame an 11-point halftime deficit with the help of 50 percent shooting in the second half to edge Eastern New Mexico University 70-68 on Thursday in a Lone Star Conference women’s crossover basketball game.
Junior forward Lacey Goldwire scored 20 points while junior center Jastin Flenory added 18 points and 14 rebounds for the Lady Tigers (7-7), who took their first lead with less than four minutes left en route to snapping a three-game losing streak. Sophomore center Sarah Taylor added 14 points and nine rebounds off the bench, while junior forward Kristie Dodgion finished with 10 points.
ENMU (9-5) got all but 14 of its points from three players — senior guard Heather Brown (21), senior forward Elizabeth Richards (19) and senior post Riikka Lehtonen (14). Richards, the LSC’s leading rebounder, added 13 rebounds for her sixth double-double of the season.
“I thought our kids played well enough to win tonight; they deserved to win tonight,” ENMU women’s coach Linden Weese said. “It just didn’t happen.”
The Zias scored the game’s first five points and maintained a small margin throughout the first half. Leading 32-28, they went on a 7-0 run in the final minute of the stanza, capped by a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by junior guard Roni Gomez.
But the Zias, who hit 15-of-31 shots from the field in the first half, cooled off to 8-of-34 after intermission. Down by two, they missed a couple of desperation shots in the closing seconds.
“We got the same looks in the second half that we did in the first half; they just didn’t go in,” Weese said. “They (Lady Tigers) were a long, lean athletic team.”
He said East Central’s size hurt the Zias.
“They had three good-sized kids,” Weese said of Flenory , Goldwire and Taylor. “We could guard two of them at a time, but we couldn’t guard the third one.”