Eastern New Mexico University’s basketball teams return to the road this weekend against challenging opponents.
The men travel to Las Cruces for a 7:05 p.m. tipoff on Saturday against Division I New Mexico State. The women face host and Lone Star Conference South Division rival West Texas A&M at 5 p.m. (MST) on Friday and Emporia State (Kan.) at 1 p.m. (MST) on Saturday in the Lady Buffs’ Dr. Pepper Classic at Canyon, Texas.
Both ENMU squads opened the season last week by going 2-1.
New Mexico State is 2-0 this season, having beaten Division II New Mexico Highlands 89-69 and Texas-Arlington 72-62.
The Aggies are not at full strength, ENMU men’s coach Shawn Scanlan said.
“They only have six or seven healthy scholarship players right now, although they’re supposed to get one more for Saturday,” Scanlan said.
The Greyhounds are coming off a 90-82 loss on Saturday to host Northwest Missouri State, ranked 16th in NCAA Division II, in the finals of the Ryland Miller Classic at Maryville, Mo.
“We’ve got to approach this game similar to Northwest Missouri,” Scanlan said. “They’re going to be a little bigger and a little better, although they’re not going to be as deep.”
Five players are averaging in double figures for the Aggies, including junior guard Allen Haynes, a former Hobbs standout who scored 16 points against UTA.
“We’re going to use this game to correct things off this past weekend,” Scanlan said. “We’re going to go into Saturday’s game trying to be a better team.”
The Zias, coming off a 63-60 loss to Fort Lewis (Colo.) in Saturday’s finals of the Canyon Classic at Phoenix, face WT three times in the next 1 1/2 months. The latter two games (Dec. 16 at Greyhound Arena and Jan. 13 at Canyon) count in division play.
“They’re going to be intense and scrappy,” Zias coach Dan Buzard said of the Lady Buffs. “They know us, we know them. It doesn’t matter if we’re playing for anything or not, we’re going to go all-out just because it says ‘West Texas’ on their jerseys.”
Emporia defeated WT 58-57 on its home court last week.