By Dave Wagner, Freedom New Mexico
It’s not supposed to be this easy, and on most nights it won’t happen that way.
Still, for one afternoon, the Eastern New Mexico University men’s basketball team could do virtually no wrong.
The Greyhounds shot 62 percent from the floor, including 16-of-25 from 3-point range, and put five of their seven players in double figures in an 89-59 Lone Star Conference crossover blistering of undermanned and struggling Southeastern Oklahoma at Greyhound Arena.
Junior guard Jamaal McCoy scored a season-best 30 points and hit 8-of-11 from 3-point distance as the Hounds (5-8) easily overcame an early 10-point deficit to register their second consecutive crossover win.
“I think we’re playing better, and we were playing a team that’s down, but,” ENMU men’s coach Shawn Scanlan said, “it always makes things look better when you’re making shots.”
Senior Justin Redman-Trotter, who had 30 points in Thursday’s come-from-behind 63-61 win over East Central, scored 17 points and dished 11 of ENMU’s 25 assists against the Savage Storm (3-9). Senior Kevin Davis added 17 points, while senior Kendall Clark scored 11 points and junior Chad Johnson 10 off ENMU’s bench.
“I just felt it tonight for some reason,” said McCoy, a transfer from Navarro (Texas) JC whose previous high was 17 at Lubbock Christian on Dec. 30. “I’ve been working on my shot, and basically my teammates just found me a lot today.”
Southeastern, with only eight players in uniform after a couple of recent injuries, got out of the gate quickly and built a 16-6 lead in the first six minutes. But the Savage Storm went more than eight minutes without scoring during a half-ending 24-3 run by the Hounds which put them in front 50-31.
ENMU led by as many as 37 points during the second half.
“They came out excited, and we probably didn’t come out like we needed to,” McCoy said. “But once we got (behind), we started to pick it up.”
Each of ENMU’s players played between 20 and 35 minutes. Scanlan has added a walk-on, Jamaal Hadley, in the last couple of days, but said he wasn’t yet ready to play.
Ken Reed, a 6-foot-6 redshirt freshman forward, paced the Savage Storm with 13 points, 14 rebounds and six assists. Freshman guard Matt Jones added 12 points on four 3-pointers.
Southeastern, which lost 82-37 at West Texas A&M on Thursday night, has now dropped seven of its last eight. The Savage Storm finished at 44 percent from the field and cooled to 37 percent — its season average — in the second half.
McCoy said he hopes the Hounds can take the momentum of their weekend sweep on the road next week in crossovers at Southwestern Oklahoma and Cameron.
“We can definitely build on this,” he said. “We need to learn how to win on the road now.”
Scanlan is hopeful, too.
“That’s a downtrodden Southeastern team right now, but we’ve been down, too,” he said. “Hopefully, we can start to be the kind of team we need to be.”