Javelinas use big second half to zap Zias 73-66

By Dave Wagner, Freedom New Mexico

Texas A&M-Kingsville women’s basketball coach Scott Hyland says the Javelinas are a second-half team.

They demonstrated that Wednesday night, shooting 68 percent from the floor in the final 20 minutes to hand Eastern New Mexico University a 73-66 Lone Star Conference South Division loss at Greyhound Arena.

The Javelinas (13-6, 3-1 South) recently overcame a 13-point deficit with 78 percent second-half shooting in a 51-45 win at Tarleton State.

“We’ve shown that ability throughout the year to put together second-half runs,” Hyland said. “The big thing is in the second half we (forced) some turnovers and got some easy baskets.”

Senior center LaKeisha Jones, who missed last week’s loss to Abilene Christian after suffering a concussion, returned to the lineup and finished with 19 points. Junior forward Angela Franklin added 14 points while junior guard Tammi Mitchell came off the bench to score 11.

The Zias held guard Dyana Bullinger, the LSC’s top 3-point shooter at 51 percent, to two points and 0-of-2 from long range, but suffered their sixth consecutive loss, five of them by 10 points or less.

While the Javs shot 52 percent for the game, the Zias struggled to 37 percent on 23-of-62 and went 5-of-21 from 3-point range. Sophomore forward Til-Lois Fifer led the Zias with 18 points and eight rebounds, sophomore guard Tori Northcutt flirted with a triple-double with 10 points, nine assists and eight rebounds and freshman post Kassie Daugherty came off the bench for 10 points.

“We get into three, four, five-minute stretches were we don’t score,” Zias coach Linden Weese said. “That’s the difference. I thought we turned over the ball tonight at times for no good reason.”

He found a few bright spots in the loss.

“Ti-Lo played well tonight, and Tori Northcutt did a good job on Bullinger,” Weese said.

The Zias went on a 14-2 run early to lead 19-12, but Kingsville responded with an eight-point burst to move back in front 22-21. ENMU led 28-27 at halftime on a basket by Daugherty in the closing seconds.

Kingsville put together an 8-1 run to start the second half, but the Zias bounced back with the help of two Javs technicals to lead twice and keep the game close.

Hyland said a 10-2 run, extending a one-point lead to 59-50 with five minutes left, was key.

“When we got (the lead) back up to nine, it was just a matter of taking care of the ball and making free throws,” he said.

Kingsville came in with 401 turnovers and 221 assists, but had one more assist than turnover (18-17) in this one.

“We’ve had games were we’ve turned the ball over a lot and won, but we’re getting better in that area,” Hyland said. “Seventeen turnovers is pretty good for us.”

Lone Star Conference South
Texas A&M-Kingsville 73, ENMU 66
Texas A&M-Kingsville (13-6, 3-1) —
Angela Franklin 5-9 3-4 14, LaKeisha Jones 9-13 1-2 19, Dyana Bullinger 1-3 0-0 2, Felicia Soza 2-3 0-0 4, Ursula Hill 2-7 3-4 9, Kayla Naylor 2-5 5-6 9, Kelly Bastow 0-0 0-0 0, Reagan Sutton 0-3 2-2 2, Lisalette Garza 1-2 1-2 3, Tammi Mitchell 5-7 1-2 11. Totals 27-52 16-22 73.

Eastern New Mexico (9-13, 0-4) — Cat Clay 3-13 0-0 8, Til-Lois Fifer 6-14 5-6 18, Celeste Belizario 2-2 0-0 4, Vanessa O’Neal 0-1 0-0 0, Tori Northcutt 2-4 6-7 10, Samantha Matta 2-10 0-0 5, Karen Grant 1-4 2-2 4, Lace Clark 0-2 0-0 0, Kara Bible 2-4 0-0 4, Alex Ortiz 1-2 0-0 3, KassieDaugherty 4-6 2-4 10. Totals 23-62 15-19 66.

Halftime — Eastern New Mexico 28, Texas A&M-Kingsville 27. 3-pointers — Texas A&M-Kingsville 3-11 (Hill 2-3, Franklin 1-3, Garza 0-1, Bullinger 0-2, Naylor 0-2), Eastern New Mexico 5-21 (Clay 2-8, Fifer 1-2, Ortiz 1-2, Matta 1-6, Grant 0-1, Clark 0-2). Rebounds — Texas A&M-Kingsville 32 (Jones, Mitchell 7), Eastern New Mexico 37 (Fifer, Northcutt 8). Assists — Texas A&M-Kingsville 18 (Hill 8), Eastern New Mexico 13 (Northcutt 9). Total fouls — Texas A&M-Kingsville 17, Eastern New Mexico 22. Fouled out — none. Techincals — Hill, Texas A&M-Kingsville bench. A — 243.