PORTALES — Jackie Stanley didn't play the first time Texas A&M-Kingsville and Eastern New Mexico University's women met. Turns out her presence made quite a difference.
Stanley a 6-foot-2 junior post, had a double-double by halftime and finished with 21 points and 17 rebounds as the Javelinas turned back the Zias 72-66 in Lone Star Conference women's basketball Thursday night at Greyhound Arena.
In a matchup of teams coming in with a combined eight wins, the Javelinas took control of a relatively well-played game down the stretch, outscoring the Zias 22-11 over the final 8 1/2 minutes for their third win in five games.
Junior Inekka Stevenson and senior Amanda Haven added 12 points each and junior Brandi Clark 10 for the Javelinas (4-13, 3-8 LSC), who dropped a 79-71 decision to ENMU in the conference opener for both teams on Dec. 1.
Stevenson wasn't eligible to play during the first semester, first-year Kingsville coach Michael Trujillo said. She has only played in nine games.
"She's such a big post presence, she just changes things," Trujillo said. "Eastern's guards in the last couple of games have a good job of attacking the post, but they couldn't get that tonight because of Jackie."
First-year Zias coach Lindsey Wilson said her squad couldn't muster the same energy it had against WT.
"We didn't play with the same intensity," she said. "We missed too many layups and easy shots."
Senior guard Kiara Tate led ENMU (5-13, 3-9), coming off an upset of West Texas A&M at home on Saturday night, with 17 points. Senior forward Precious Herrin, who scored 40 points in the first meeting, and senior guard Karen Grant added 12 points apiece while junior guard Hannah Altheide finished with 10.
Wilson said the Javs' 20 offensive rebounds — eight by Stanley — were hard to overcome.
"We didn't box her out, and she made some tough shots," Wilson said.
ENMU erased a six-point halftime deficit with the first eight points of the second half and built a 55-50 lead with under nine minutes left. Stevenson (six) and Stanley (five) combined for 11 points over the next seven minutes to put the Javs in front 67-61, and Kingsville converted 5-of-6 free throws in the remaining time.
"Road wins are hard to get," said Trujillo, whose team improved to 2-7 in that category. "That was definitely a good win."
Both teams started the game cooking. Each hit four of its first six shots from the field, and the Javelinas led 13-12 at the first media timeout with 15:03 left.
A 3-pointer by senior Lace Clark put the Zias back in front, and the lead grew to 24-18 on a 3-pointer from the left of the key by Grant with 8:54 to play in the half.
Kingsville answered with an 11-0 run that started with two baskets by Brandi Clark and was capped by a 3-pointer from the right side by Haven, making it 29-24 with five minutes left.
Tate converted a 3-point play for the Zias with 4:45 left, but that was ENMU's final field goal of the half. Two late baskets by Stanley gave her a double-double (10 points, 11 rebounds) and sent the Javs into the intermission with a 36-30 lead.