By Dave Wagner: Freedom New Mexico
Eastern New Mexico University’s men have struggled in the second
half of games at times this season — including Monday, when they nearly
let a 15-point cushion get away before holding off Lubbock Christian.
Saturday, after building a nine-point halftime lead, the Greyhounds
finished the job in style with a 70-54 Lone Star Conference crossover
win over Cameron at Greyhound Arena.
“I thought our second half was much better than our second half
against Lubbock Christian,” ENMU men’s coach Shawn Scanlan said. “We
did a lot of good things.
“Today, we didn’t go from a 19-point lead to a five-point lead. I think we’re getting better.”
Junior guard Justin Reynolds had 18 points and five assists, leading
four players scoring in double figures for the Hounds (3-9). Junior
guard Aaron King had 12 points off the bench, junior forward Dannon
Wafer added 11 points and junior guard Jimmie Marshall chipped in 10
points to go with a season-high eight assists.
“We started off good the first half, but sometimes we get too
comfortable (with a lead),” Reynolds said. “We wanted to keep our
energy and our poise, and just stay consistent.”
Cameron (5-5) led 16-10 after about eight minutes, but managed only
five points the rest of the half. King’s 3-pointer put ENMU in front
for good 20-18, and they held the Aggies scoreless for the final 4 1/2
minutes of the period in opening a 30-21 lead.
ENMU then went on a 12-0 run early in the second half for a 21-point
cushion. The Aggies didn’t get closer than 15 points the rest of the
The Hounds, who have often struggled to get shots down, shot a
season-best 58 percent, including 70 percent (16-of-23) in the second
half. They were 5-for-11 on 3-pointers.
“During two-a-days (over the break), our first practice was a lot of
shooting,” said Reynolds, who matched his second scoring best for the
second game in a row and went 8-for-16 from the field. “It’s all about
confidence; the more confident you get, the better you shoot.”
ENMU finished with 17 assists and 13 turnovers, only the second time this season they’ve had more assists.
“Coach was talking about (North Carolina guard) Ty Lawson and how
his assist-to-turnover ration was about 5-1,” Reynolds said. “I think
Jimmie and I took that to heart.”
Only freshman guard Emmett Blount reached double figures for the Aggies, and all 15 of his points came in the second half.
ENMU plays another crossover game at home on Monday, hosting Southwestern Oklahoma in an 8 p.m. tipoff.
“We’re starting to get our confidence,” Reynolds said. “We focus on
consistency in practice. The more consistent you stay, the better
chance you have to win.”