By Kevin Wilson: Freedom New Mexico
The Eastern New Mexico University Greyhounds gave a lot of reasons to be optimistic early in Wednesday’s scrimmage at Greyhound Arena. The New Mexico All-Stars responded with a few reasons for the Hounds to be concerned.
The Greyhounds built a 30-point lead, saw it chopped in half in six minutes, then weathered the storm from the visiting All-Stars for a 102-93 win Wednesday night at Greyhound Arena.
With a quick perimeter game on display, the Hounds took control with a 14-6 run midway through the first half and rode a balanced attack for a 55-36 lead. In the first half, 10 Greyhounds scored and only Reggie Nelson had double figures with 10 points.
“I really think that helps us,” first-year Greyhound coach Andrew Helton said. “I think we have a lot of guys who do a lot of different things well.”
New Mexico All-Stars coach Kelvin Scarborough, a mid-80s University of New Mexico standout who still holds the school record for steals, said he runs the exhibition team to show state college hoops squads their strengths and weaknesses, while at the same time trying to find opportunities to further basketball careers of former New Mexico college players.
That type of roster, he said, means there’s usually enough talent that at least one guy will get hot. That was Darren Prentice, the former UNM guard, who hit six 3-pointers en route to a 37-point night.
“We just went to Darren Prentice and played off of him,” Scarborough said. “It’s hard to check a team (like us) that mainly plays dribble drive (offense).”
Though stats weren’t official, four All-Stars reached double figures, including 20 and 10, respectively, for former Greyhounds Mikal Monette and Jamal Washington.
Helton was complimentary of the All-Stars, but said they exposed too many defensive holes for him to feel comfortable less than a week before.
“He’s (Prentice) a really good player; he made some plays and he made some tough shots,” Helton said. “If we’re going to be good, we have to be able to not have those types of lapses.”
Nelson ended the night with 14, while freshman forward Michael Brown led five Hounds in double figures with 20 points.