Hounds, Zias combine to establish school first

Dave Wagner

Tuesday night was special for Eastern New Mexico University’s basketball teams — both teams won, and both reached 100 points on the same night for what is believed to be the first time.

The ENMU women had to work hard for their victory, outlasting Oklahoma Panhandle State 100-96 to give first-year coach Lindsey Wilson her first victory. The men had an easier time of it, blowing out to a 22-point halftime lead en route to a 107-75 victory over OPSU.

The women’s game certainly wasn’t the way Wilson would have drawn it up.

“It’s good for the fans; they saw a lot of points scored,” she said. “It’s good for people to see we can score like that.”

The Zias (1-1), coming off a competitive 84-74 loss to No. 6 Fort Lewis in their opener, showed they can get out of their comfort zone and still compete. The Aggies (0-2) pressed the whole time and ran 15 players in and out of the lineup — 12 of whom played at least 10 minutes, but none more than 19.

“The only thing that’s important is finding a way to win,” Wilson said. “Styles won’t always be the same.”

It broke the Zias’ record for combined points in a game, set in a 107-87 loss to Colorado College on Feb. 1, 1980, and marked the first 100-point game for the program since a 101-58 drubbing of Cameron in January 1993.

While OPSU’s 99 field goal attempts and 49 3-point tries are also believed to be school records against ENMU, the Zias shot 53 percent, led by senior forward Precious Herrin with a personal-best 34 points and 16-of-22 from the floor.

“We were knocking down open shots,” said Wilson, whose team faces New Mexico Highlands on Friday and Western State (Colo.) on Saturday in a four-team classic at Pueblo, Colo. “We were being patient and finding good shots.”

The men, meantime, broke out after shooting just 34 percent while splitting their first two games. They shot 54 percent, including 13-of-24 from 3-point range.

“Hopefully, we won’t have too many more games like (the first two),” Greyhounds coach Andrew Helton said. “We scored a lot of points in transition.”

Of the 14 Hounds who played, 12 scored and six were in double figures. Six-foot-8 senior forward Curtis Wilkinson sat out with a strained shoulder, and Helton hopes to have him back on at least a limited basis this weekend when the Hounds face Northeastern State on Friday and Northern New Mexico on Saturday at Durango, Colo.

The Hounds and Aggies had a tough act to follow after the women’s shootout.

“The women’s game was up-and-down,” Helton said. “I’m just glad they came out on top. It was an exciting night for our fans.”