Indians go overtime to turn back Hounds

By Dave Wagner

Senior guard Jay January, who struggled most of the night, scored the go-ahead basket in overtime on a baseline drive and Midwestern State held on for a 92-86 Lone Star Conference South Division men’s victory over Eastern New Mexico University Saturday night at Greyhound Arena.
January, the Indians’ leading scorer for the season, went just 4-of-17 from the field but still led five players in double figures for MSU (10-8, 2-1 South) with 17 points.
The win was only the second in eight road games this season for Midwestern.
ENMU (7-10, 0-2), with three regulars still out with injuries, battled the Indians most of the way only to come up short. The Hounds trailed by nine points with 12 minutes left but pulled even 78-78 with two minutes to go after consecutive 3-pointers by Edmound Elzy and Jolen Montoya.
Senior Jamaal Hunnicutt, who finished with a career-best 29 points, forced the overtime when he converted a steal by Montoya into a layup with 35 seconds left to make it 80-80.
The teams were tied twice in overtime, the last at 85 when Hunnicutt horsed down an offensive rebound and converted a 3-point play with 3:06 to go. January’s basket 20 seconds later started a game-ending 7-1 run for Midwestern.
January scored seven of his points in the OT.
In a game matching two of the LSC’s top free throwing teams, the Indians went 21-of-24, including 17-of-18 in the second half and overtime.
“That’s one thing we’ve done in most of our games this year,” MSU men’s coach Jeff Ray said. “I thought Jay did a better job of driving the ball to the basket in the overtime.”
Sophomore guard Chad Rickett added 16 points for the Indians, who were routed 81-52 on Thursday night at West Texas A&M.
“We didn’t play well at WT,” Ray said. “But in this game you play so fast, you can’t really worry about the last game.”
Junior guard Jason Breland added 22 points for the Hounds, including 18 in the first half when he went 7-of-9 from the field. His last-second 3-pointer from the key cut Midwestern’s lead at the break to 38-35.
Montoya was ENMU’s only other double-figure scorer with 10 points. But the Hounds couldn’t overcome a poor night from long range in which they made just 4-of-25, including 0-of-7 in the OT.

Lone Star Conference South
Midwestern State 92, ENMU 86
Midwestern State (10-8, 2-1) —
Justin James 3-4 2-2 8, Jose Nava 2-2 3-4 7, Eddie Rowe 3-6 5-6 11, Chad Rickett 5-10 5-5 16, Jay January 4-17 3-3 11, Tate Lombard 6-12 2-2 17, LaKeith Grant 2-5 0-0 4, Leonard Pralour 4-5 0-0 8, Shelton Hawkins 4-5 1-2 10. Totals 33-66 21-24 92.
Eastern New Mexico (7-10, 0-2) — Jason Breland 9-14 4-4 24, Jamaal Hunnicutt 9-13 13-17 11-17 29, Edmound Elzy 2-9 0-0 5, Reggie Wallace 3-14 2-3 8, Jolen Montoya 3-15 3-4 10, Ean Forrest 0-0 0-0 0, Jamaine Francois 0-0 0-0 0, Aaron Rodriguez 1-1 2-2 4, Chad Donnell 2-2 2-4 6. Totals 29-68 24-32 86.
Halftime — Midwestern State 38, Eastern New Mexico 35. End of regulation — tied 80-80. 3-pointers — Midwestern State 5-13 (Lombard 3-5, Hawkins 1-1, Rickett 1-2, January 0-5), Eastern New Mexico 4-25 (Breland 2-3, Elzy 1-5, Montoya 1-10, Wallace 0-7). Rebounds — Midwestern State 33 (James 12), Eastern New Mexico 41 (Hunnicutt 12). Assists — Midwestern State 18 (Rowe 5), Eastern New Mexico 18 (Wallace 5). Total fouls — Midwestern State 25, Eastern New Mexico 20. Fouled out — Hunnicutt, Montoya. A — 1,220.