By Kevin Wilson
The Oklahoma Panhandle State Aggies capped off a 2003 they’d like to forget, and the Greyhounds got the start they wanted on a three-game homestand.
Jamaal Hunnicutt and Travazz Buckley had 17 apiece to lead four in double figures, and Eastern New Mexico University never trailed in a 92-52 rout Wednesday afternoon at Greyhound Arena.
“I felt good about the way we played today,” said Greyhound coach Shawn Scanland, whose team will be in action at 4 p.m. Saturday in a Lone Star Conference crossover game against Southeastern Oklahoma.
“All in all, I think our defense was solid, our offense was consistent and our scoring was balanced,” Scanlan said. “There’s not a lot of bad things you can say.”
The Greyhounds (7-3) took a 14-4 lead on a Buckley layup 3:24 into the contest, and the advantage never fell below double digits after that point.
The lead increased to 20, then 30, then 40 throughout the second half. Scanlan said huge leads are always a concern because they can lead to complacency, but he didn’t feel that was the case Wednesday.
“It’s always a concern,” Scanlan said. “We talked about winning the second half in five-minute increments. I think, by and large, that’s what we did.”
All 11 Greyhounds who saw action scored, as Scanlan went to a bench that was deeper than the entire Aggie roster — OPSU had only six players on the roster, and was led by Kenneth Barrett’s 19 points.
To top off an 0-10 start for the Aggies, coach Earl Trice had resigned on the eve of the game. Rick Thomas, a former player and current student assistant, was thrown into head coaching duties.
“You’ve just got to go out and try to get better every game,” Thomas said. “This season’s over. Conference is our next season, 0-0. We’ve got to try to have a new focus.”
The Aggies begin Heartland Conference play Jan. 9 at Drury. The Greyhounds, meanwhile, remain at home for Saturday’s game against the Savages.
“That was a good win for us because it gave us a chance to play,” Scanlan said. “Southeastern’s going to be good. They’re probably going to be better and deeper.”
Buckley had a game-high 11 rebounds in addition to his 17 points. Kennis Green scored 16 for the Hounds, with Irshaun Pinckney adding 12. Jecory Leggins scored 15 for the Aggies, with Andrew Harlie had 11 points and a team-high 10 rebounds.