By Dave Wagner
CMI sports writer
If one knew the Greyhounds would hold Cameron under 60 points Wednesday night, you would probably anticipate an easy victory.
Instead, the Aggies built an 11-point lead over the cold-shooting Hounds with three minutes left, and held off a furious rally for a 59-58 victory in the Lone Star Conference opener for both teams at Greyhound Arena.
Trailing 57-46 with just over three minutes left, the Hounds (6-6) forced Cameron into six turnovers in the remaining time. The last came when senior forward Aaron Thompson threw the ball over the sideline in backcourt trying to protect a one-point lead with eight seconds left.
But a long 3-pointer as time expired by senior guard Rodney Blackmon came up short, and the Aggies (7-5) held on.
“We just played bad,” ENMU coach Andrew Helton said. “I think we showed a lot of heart late, but when we go 8-for-32 from 3-point land, it’s hard for us to win.”
Both teams struggled mightily and fell well below their scoring averages of 80 points (ENMU) and 74 (Cameron). The Aggies, though, shot 54 percent in the second half and made just enough plays to win their third in a row.
“Both teams played really well defensively tonight,” Aggies coach Nate Gamet said. “It was a matter of who was going to hit some shots.”
Cameron came out of halftime with an 11-0 run to break a 23-23 tie, and the Hounds were fighting uphill the rest of the way.
“We’ve had a lot of games like that,” Helton said of the slow second-half start. I’ve got to figure out a way to get us to play better early in the second half.
Blackmon, the LSC’s leading scorer coming in at 19.1 ppg, struggled to a 2-for-13 performance, including 2-of-11 from 3-point range, for eight points.
“He just didn’t have a good game,” Helton said.
Gamet was relieved the final shot didn’t fall, although Blackmon was probably a couple of steps farther out than he’d have liked.
“He has the capability of hitting those shots,” Gamet said. “We’ve seen that before, but we had a good challenge and the ball bounced our way.”
Senior guard Rafael Love finished with a game-high 15 points for ENMU. Senior guard Kyle Lantz tied a personal-best with four 3-pointers, finishing with 12 points, while senior forward Cornelius Cammock added 10.
The 6-foot-9 Thompson and senior guard Will Cook each finished with 13 points for the Aggies. Thompson made two free throws with 53 seconds left to make it 59-52, and that turned out to be the difference.
ENMU was held 11 points below its previous scoring low this season, and committed more turnovers than its opponent (19-18) for the first time.