Freedom New Mexico
LAS VEGAS, N.M. — Freshman guard Lace Clark led four Eastern New Mexico University players in double figures with 18 points Monday night as the Zias beat New Mexico Highlands 98-84, the most points they have scored in nearly 16 years.
Sophomore forward Cat Clay and sophomore guard Samantha Matta each added 15 points for the Zias (1-1), who were coming off a 94-56 loss in their opener on Saturday at Fort Lewis. Meantime, sophomore guard Tori Northcutt finished with 14 points and posted team highs of eight rebounds and five assists.
ENMU last reached 100 points on Jan. 18, 1993, beating Cameron 101-58.
The Zias trailed only once, at 10-8 on two free throws by Cowgirls senior guard Rosalyn Wilson with 13:42 left in the half. Baskets by sophomore post Kara Bible and Clark put ENMU ahead for good and kicked off a 24-5 run that gave the Zias a 32-15 cushion with under seven minutes left in the half.
Highlands (0-1) closed to 44-37 at halftime, then got within 53-50 on a 3-pointer by guard Christine Pagels with 17:25 left. Northcutt followed with two baskets and Clay hit a 3-pointer, and the Zias eventually built by 19 points.
The Cowgirls mounted another charge and closed to 87-84 with just under three minutes left. The Zias finished on an 11-0 run that featured two baskets by Matta, including a 3-pointer, and six free throws by Northcutt.
ENMU shot just 38 percent over all on 31-of-81, but hit 10-of-21 from 3-point range and converted 26-of-32 free throws. Clark had four of the Zias’ trifectas.
Junior guard Oliana Seanoa led the Cowgirls with 23 points.
ENMU opens its home schedule on Friday with a 6 p.m. Tipoff against UT-Permian Basin at Greyhound Arena.