By Kevin Wilson
Every possession matters in the Lone Star Conference. Saturday night, some celebrations mattered more than others.
A late technical foul put Thomas Razor on the line for the go-ahead free throws, negating a go-ahead putback as Cameron snuck out of Greyhound Arena with a 71-69 Lone Star Conference crossover victory over Eastern New Mexico University.
Josh Davis led four Aggies in double figures with 16 points, and Nathan Murray had 12 points and a game-high 12 rebounds for Cameron (6-1), which narrowly avoided a second overtime loss in three nights.
Cameron, which jumped out to an 11-2 lead, nearly let a 68-64 lead slip away in the final 13 seconds after Eastern’s Gerald Brown scored to end a flurry of putback attempts from a missed Tralyn Harden free throw.
But the Aggies were bailed out when ENMU junior Max Carrier, who scored five of his team-high 16 in the final two minutes of regulation to keep the Hounds in the battle, was called for a technical foul for coming onto the court to celebrate Brown’s late basket.
After Razor hit both technical shots with 1.3 seconds to go, the Hounds could do nothing but foul Vinicus Telo, who hit 1-of-2 shots with 0.2 seconds to play.
Aggies coach Wade Alexander said he hated to win that way in a game with nine ties and 14 lead changes, but said you take them any way you can get them.
“In our conference, the games are decided by one possession,” he said, referring to Thursday’s overtime loss at West Texas A&M. “One possession is huge. These young men don’t understand that. The end of the game comes around and you realize those first few minutes is what kept us in the game.”
Hounds coach Andrew Helton said his team won’t win many games shooting 7-of-34 from 3-point range, but otherwise had little to say, noting he didn’t want to regret any words come Sunday morning.
“I don’t know if I agree with it or not,” a frustrated Helton said about the technical foul. “But what I can say is it’s awful for a game to be decided that way.”
Carrier had kept the Greyhounds in the contest, scoring on an off-balance shot down low with 1:55 to play and then hitting a 3-pointer to give the Hounds a 61-59 lead with 1:19 left.
Harden scored on a layup and drew a foul with five seconds left in OT to make it 68-66 Cameron. He missed the ensuing free throw, but got his own rebound and was fouled on another attempt. He made the first free throw, and the Hounds got three offensive putback chances, including Brown’s in the final seconds.
Sophomore Jordan Romero scored 13 for the Greyhounds, who face Texas A&M-Commerce on the road Dec. 13.