SAN ANGELO, Texas — The Angelo State Rams have moved into sole possession of third place in the Lone Star Conference on the strength of double-doubles by senior guard-forward Kenny Williams and 6-foot-10 sophomore forward Omar Gudul — and a 3-point shot as time expired that didn’t go down.
Senior guard Rodney Blackmon, seeking his seventh 3 of the game, instead came up empty on the final play as Eastern New Mexico University’s men dropped a 77-75 Lone Star Conference decision to the Rams on Saturday.
Williams finished with 22 points and 10 rebounds — his eighth double-double of the season and second against ENMU — while Gudul, who is from The Congo, added 14 and 10 as the Rams (16-5, 6-3 LSC) moved a game ahead of the Hounds (12-9, 5-4).
Blackmon scored 24 points for the Hounds, while senior guard Rodney Love added 14 and seniors Devone Davis and Phil Henry came off the bench for 13 and 10, respectively.
The Hounds converted 11-of-26 3-point tries, but shot just 35 percent overall (20-of-57) and missed 13 free throws. That allowed the Rams, who had lost six in a row in the series, to escape despite committing 24 turnovers.
Blackmon was hot early, scoring 16 points in the first half. He hit back-to-back 3s to put the Hounds in front 18-13 with 7 1/2 minutes gone.
Senior Phil Henry’s two free throws made it 38-34 with 1:59 left, but the Hounds didn’t score again in the half. Junior guard Tommy Woolridge tied the game on a free throw with 31 seconds left and missed the second attempt, but the Rams grabbed the rebound and senior guard Bryan Hammond scored at the buzzer to give ASU the lead.
The Rams extended their run to 11-0 with the first five points of the second half and led 53-44 with 15 minutes left before senior guard Devone Davis capped a 10-0 ENMU run with a 3-pointer for a 54-53 lead. Angelo countered with the next eight points — including a go-ahead, 3-point play by Williams to retake the lead for good — but the Hounds were able to hang around.
Down 72-64 with 4:20 to go, 3-pointers by Love and Blackmon cut the margin to two with 3:18 left. After a basket by Gudul, Blackmon’s sixth 3 made it 74-73 with 1:54 left in the contest.
That turned out to be the last field goal of the game. Davis twice split free throws in the remaining time, and Blackmon came up with a steal but missed both free throws.
Hammond missed a jumper, but Williams grabbed the rebound and was fouled with 15 seconds to go. He missed both shots to keep the Hounds alive for their final attempt just before the final buzzer.