Hounds end LSC South skid

By Kevin Wilson: Freedom New Mexico

Portales — Victor Reid started it, and Jimmie Marshall finished it.

Reid scored 18 of his career-high 20 points in the first half to help Eastern New Mexico build a lead, then Marshall sealed matters at the free-throw line to prevent a collapse in a 78-65 win Wednesday over Abilene Christian at Greyhound Arena.

The win for the Greyhounds (6-9, 0-1) is their first Lone Star Conference South Division triumph since Feb. 24, 2007, when the Hounds knocked off Tarleton State in the regular season finale.

“I’m just thrilled,” first-year Greyhound coach Andrew Helton said. “It’s one of the steps we’ve got to take, getting some LSC South wins.”

But it almost vanished into thin air behind an aggressive Abilene Christian pressure defense. After the Hounds ripped off an 8-2 run midway through the second half to build a 50-37 lead, the visiting Wildcats (7-9, 0-1) slowly chipped away at the spread.

“They pressed us and we didn’t handle it,” said Helton, who was pleased with the effort with the exception of a five-minute stretch in the second half. “We didn’t make plays.”

Ben Warton tied the game with a dunk with 4:39 to play, and the teams traded baskets for the next two minutes.

Leading 66-64 with 2:35 to go, Marshall was sent to the line for a pair of shots. Marshall, a 62-percent free throw shooter, calmly nailed both.

“Clutch time,” Marshall said. “Gotta have ‘em.”

Marshall hit four more free throws, and the Hounds closed out the final 2:35 by going 10-of-10 from the stripe.

Reid, who shot 8-of-9 in the first half but only got two more shots after halftime, sunk a pair to put the Hounds up by double digits, 74-65, and he pulled down the final rebound on a late 3-point attempt by Eddie Thompson, who led the Wildcats with 13 points.

“We just move the ball around,” Reid said of his first half, in which he finished one point short of his previous career high . “They were giving me open shots, so I was taking them.

“They were guarding me a lot more in the second half.”

That’s when the ball went to other Hounds, as four others joined Reid in double figures. Tyler Jefferson added 16, Reggie Nelson had 14 and Equs Darby had 11.

Marshall, who got most of his 10 in the last two minutes, was just relieved to get the division win.

“It’s a great win,” Marshall said, “especially finishing last season 0-12. We’re about to keep them coming.”

Abilene Christian (7-9, 0-1)
Eddie Thompson 4-12 2-2 13, Marcus Washington 4-7 1-1 11, Ben Warton 4-6 0-0 8, Vladimir avranic 2-8 3-4 7, Giordan Cole 2-4 2-2 6, Dosh Simms 1-5 3-3 5, Preston Davis 2-6 1-2 5, Kevin White 2-5 0-0 5, Riley Lambert 1-3 0-0 3, Abby Kabby 1-1 0-0 2, Sawyer Reed 0-2 0-0 0, Kendrick Johnson 0-4 0-3 0, Totals 23-64 12-17 65.

ENMU (6-9, 1-0)
Victor Reid 9-13 0-0 20, Tyler Jefferson 7-13 2-2 16, Reggie Nelson 3-8 6-6 14, Equs Darby 3-5 5-7 11, Jimmie Marshall 2-7 6-8 10, Michael Brown 2-4 0-0 4, Alan Branch 0-1 1-2 1, Tralyn Harden 0-4 1-2 1, Jordan Romero 0-1 1-2 1, Josh Megyeri 0-1 0-0 0, Tommy York 0-0 0-0 0, Totals 26-57 22-29 78.
Halftime score —