Late basket lifts Hounds past ACU

ABILENE, Texas — Junior guard Rodney Blackmon drove for a layup with two seconds left on Saturday, lifting Eastern New Mexico University to a 62-60 victory over Abilene Christian in Lone Star Conference men's basketball.

Junior guard Jordan Romero scored 17 points off the bench, hitting 4-of-7 from 3-point range and 5-of-6 from the free throw line, to lead four Hounds in double figures.

Junior Dennis Hardwell added 13 points and a team high seven rebounds, while junior Rafael Love scored all 12 of his points in the second half, including a trio of 3-pointers.

ENMU (5-3, 2-0 LSC) never trailed in the second half, but couldn't finish off the Wildcats (4-2, 1-1) after building an eight-point lead on a 3-pointer by Romero with 10:39 left.

The Wildcats pulled even 58-58 on a layup by Steven Werner with 1:38 left. Romero hit two free throws on the next trip, but ACU's Lloyd Elliott tied it again with 30 seconds to go. The Hounds then used two timeouts before Blackmon worked his way to the basket with the clock running down.

Elliott and reserve Cornelius Cammock scored 10 points each for the Wildcats, who had a four-game winning streak snapped. ACU's starters combined for just 29 points and shot 9-of-33 from the field, including guards Eric Lawton and Elliott Lloyd going a combined 1-of-12 from long distance.

Led by Romero and Love, the Hounds went 10-of-23 from 3-point range for the game while the Wildcats were just 3-of-18.

ENMU finished the game with eight blocked shots against the taller Wildcats, including four by Hardwell and three by Awoye

The game seesawed early. The Wildcats went on a 6-0 run for a 13-10 lead, but ENMU answered with two 3-pointers by Romero to move back in front.

ACU then got 3-pointers by Lawton and Tyler Rogers, two baskets from Dosh Simms and one from Elliott in a 12-0 blitz to build a 22-13 lead with 7 1/2 minutes left.

The Hounds, though, chipped away the rest of the half. Hardwell hit a 3-pointer and Jordan Awoye added a 3-point play to make it 22-19, but the Wildcats stretched it back to six points with 2:18 left on a layup by Wentz.

ENMU the final six points over the last two minutes to pull even 28-28 at the intermission, getting two free throws from Romero, a layup by Kyle Lantz off a Romero assist and a jumper by Hardwell.

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