CLOVIS — Neither the Angelo State nor Eastern New Mexico University women’s basketball teams could find the range with any consistency Thursday night. The Rambelles simply struggled a little less than the Zias.
ASU got a 3-point play from sophomore forward Lauren Holt in the first minute and, except for a brief tie early in the second half, led the rest of the way in a sluggish 46-31 Lone Star Conference victory over the Zias at Rock Staubus Gym.
Despite the struggles to score, ENMU senior guard and Clovis High grad Tori Northcutt collected five assists, giving her 464 for her career and surpassing the previous school mark of 461 by Stephanie Brockman.
“It’s exciting for her to be able to do it on her high school court,” Zias coach Lindsey Wilson said.
The teams came into the game tied at the bottom of the LSC in scoring (58.1 ppg), and neither caught fire in this one. ASU (5-5, 3-1 LSC), which won for the fourth time in five games, shot 35 percent for the game (19-of-55) while the Zias (2-7, 1-3) were limited to 24 percent (12-of-51).
“It’s not any different than it’s been for us,” ASU coach Sally Brooks said. “We’re just going to focus on defense and rebounding, and try to win that way.
“We’re young and we’ve had some injuries. Tonight was the first time we had all 12 of our players suited out.”
Meantime, it was the fifth time in the last seven games the Zias have scored less than 45 points. It was two points less than their previous season low — a 54-33 loss at New Mexico.
“It’s hard to win basketball games when you’re shooting in the 20 percents,” Wilson said. “If you don’t make shots, you’re in trouble.”
Holt posted a double-double for Angelo with 10 points and 11 rebounds, while guard Ashley James added 10 points.
The Zias got 11 points from senior forward Precious Herrin — eight under her average. Herrin and senior guard Lace Clark (seven points) combined to go 8-for-18 from the field while the rest of the team was just 4-of-33.
Herrin’s basket got ENMU on the board and pulled the Zias to 6-2 with 4 1/2 minutes gone. The Rambelles had a 15-4 advantage after eight minutes, but managed only four field goals the rest of the half and led 23-17 at the break.
ASU went more than five minutes without scoring in the second half and ENMU pulled even 23-23 on two free throws by guard Kiara Tate with 14:50 to go. Reserve Haylee Oliver’s 3-pointer put the Rambelles in front on the next trip, though, and ASU held the Zias scoreless for more than 7 1/2 minutes.
Back-to-back 3-pointers by guard Leah LeMaire and James with under two minutes left finally put the game out of reach.
“As bad as we played, we still had a chance to win,” Wilson said. “I think we just ran out of gas at the end.”