ACU improves playoff hopes at Zias’ expense

Freedom New Mexico

ABILENE, Texas — Fighting for one of four South Division spots in the upcoming Lone Star Conference women’s basketball tournament, Abilene Christian wasn’t about to give Eastern New Mexico University a chance Tuesday night.

The Wildcats got 3-pointers from Jamie Meyer and Kat Kundmueller in an opening 12-0 salvo and led by double figures the rest of the way in a 75-59 victory over the Zias.

ACU (16-10, 6-5) took a one-half game lead over Angelo State (12-12, 5-5) for fourth place in the South. The Wildcats trail Texas A&M-Kingsville (18-7, 6-4) by one-half game for third place.

Guard Courtney Laing poured in 20 points and Meyer chipped in with a double-double — 19 points, 10 rebounds — as ACU hit 9-of-16 from 3-point range and 12-of-13 from the free throw line.

The Zias got 12 points from junior guard Tori Northcutt and 10 from junior forward Cat Clay, but they shot just 24 percent in the first half and finished at 32 percent for the game on 18-of-57.

Clay’s 3-pointer provided ENMU with its first field goal at the 14:08 mark, and made it 14-4. Before that basket, ENMU was 0-for-6 from the floor with four turnovers.

The margin stayed between 10 and 13 until Laing scored to make it 36-21 with a minute left in the half. A basket by junior post Kara Bible made it a 13-point game at halftime.

Kelsey Darby-Holson opened the second half with two free throws and a 3-point basket to push the lead to 18. The teams traded baskets until the Wildcats went on a 14-3 surge for their biggest margin of the game at 68-39 with 7:55 to go.

ENMU wraps up its season on Saturday with a 1 p.m. South contest against Texas A&M-Kingsville at Greyhound Arena.