EDMOND, Okla. — Junior post Loren Scarlett’s 3-pointer put Eastern New Mexico University ahead for good early in the second half and the Zias went on to beat Central Oklahoma 69-54 Thursday night in a Lone Star Conference women’s crossover game.
Scarlett led four players in double figures with 15 points as Eastern (3-3) put an end to a three-game losing streak. Junior guard Laci Lee finished with 12 points, 13 rebounds and five assists, while Kristi McGuire scored 12 points and reserve guard Heather Brown added 10.
Elizabeth Richards (nine points) matched Lee with 13 boards as Eastern dominated the glass 50-33.
Scarlett’s 3-pointer put the Zias up 41-38 with 17:27 left and started a 16-2 run, giving the Zias a commanding margin with eight minutes left. The Bronchos (2-3) never got closer than eight points.
“We didn’t play a bad first half, but we just could never get much of a lead,” ENMU coach Dan Buzard said. “Overall, I thought the kids came to win tonight, instead of just playing close or something. A big key was that we didn’t have a lot of turnovers.”
The Zias, averaging more than 20 turnovers a game, had 16 against UCO, but only six in the second half.
ENMU led 6-0 and 14-8 early, but Central rallied to make it close the rest of the half. The Bronchos, though, never led by more than two points and McGuire’s basket as time expired in the half sent Eastern into the break with a 33-32 advantage.
The teams exchanged the lead three times after play resumed before the Zias took control.
“We switched defenses on them (from a man-to-man to a 1-2-2 zone trap) in the second half, and our kids kind of stymied them,” Buzard said. “Our man had been working pretty well, but we had some of our post players in foul trouble.
“I think we made them take tougher shots than they’re used to taking.”
Lindsay Young had team-highs of 14 points and eight rebounds off the bench for UCO.