Eastern New Mexico used two scoring runs to defeat Texas A&M-University-Commerce 90-76 on Jan. 22 in Portales, N.M. The Zias (6-8, 4-1 Lone Star Conference) started 0-of-10 from the floor before rallying to defeat the Lions (3-12, 2-4).
The knockout punch came in the form of a 20-1 run over a 4:48 span in the second half that allowed the Eastern New Mexico to withstand a 15-2 run by A&M-Commerce over the last 3:56 to get the win.
In the losing effort Aubree Butts scored a career-high 21 points (9-of-13 from the field). Butts also added two rebounds and two steals in 30 minutes. Abigail Leaupepe-Tele was also in double figures with 14 points and 4 rebounds.
The Lion defense came to play in the opening minutes, holding the Zias to just 1-13 shooting to start the game. A&M-Commerce in turn built a 12-2 lead during the early drought. After the Zias got their first basket, their offense woke up. Eastern finished the game 31-58 (53.4 percent) after the 0-10 start.
The first of the runs from Eastern came with just over three minutes to play in the first half. The Zias closed the half on a 16-3 run to take a 38-32 halftime lead.
Eastern New Mexico shot 5-of-11 (45.5 percent) from behind the arc and 7-of-10 (70 percent) from the free throw line in the first half while taking the six point lead into the break. The Lions shot 35 percent from the field but just 1-of-6 (16.7 percent) from behind the arc.
After Zias got the lead out to 10, 48-38, the Lions went on a seven to nothing run to get back within a possession but that was also close, as the Lions would get on a couple different occasions in the second half.
With the score 66-60 and just past the halfway point of the second half the Zias put the game out of reach with a 15-0 run over the course of four plus minutes to take a 79-60 lead. The lead got too as many as 23 before Breanna Harris ended the field goal drought for the Lions with 4:25 to play to make it 86-65 in favor of the Zias.
The Lions tried to mount a comeback but there was not enough time. Eastern's lead allowed them to weather the late run by the Lions over the fine three plus minutes.
A&M-Commerce returns to the court on Jan. 25, when it hosts the Lady Buffs of West Texas A&M at 2 p.m. at The Field House as part of men's and women's doubleheader.
Symone Brown set a new season high with nine rebounds in the loss … Kourtney Brisoce tied a season high with two assists … Cheyenne Ramey tied a season high with one block on the night.