By Greg Price, Freedom Newspapers
Eastern New Mexico University senior guard Heather Brown is the first to admit she got a little lucky.
Brown stole Cameron’s inbound pass, took a dribble and banked a 3-pointer home as the buzzer sounded, giving the Zias a 77-74 victory over Cameron at Greyhound Arena.
“She kind of telegraphed her pass,” Brown said. “I was struggling on my threes all night, but I just got it and let it go, and it went off the glass for us.”
Brown finished with 22 points on 9-of-11 shooting, including 4-of-11 from the 3-point line as the Zias (4-2) overcame a 20-point second-half deficit. She also added eight rebounds and five assists.
“Heather, you don’t ever bet against her,” Zias coach Linden Weese said. “She’s a competitor. Just to get the steal itself, and then going ahead for the three.
“But I still think the hardest shot tonight was Liz’s second free throw to give us a chance, and to tie.”
ENMU senior forward Elizabeth Richards hit two free throws to tie the game 74-74 with three seconds remaining in the game, setting up Brown’s last-second heroics.
Senior guard Missy Kirkland, who hit several clutch shots down the stretch to keep Eastern in the game, constributed 12 points and four steals.
Guard Tiffany Williams scored a game-high 26 points for Carmeron, hitting 4-of-6 3-pointers in the game
After a Cameron timeout, the Zias forced Leah Williams to throw the ball into Eastern bench. Kirkland his a 3-pointer from the corner, tying the game at 72 with 10.8 seconds left in the game.
Richards fouled Leah Williams, who hit both free throws for a 74-72 lead.
But Richards would have her chance at redemption. After a hard foul by Williams that sent her to the floor, Richards hit both free throws.
Early in the first half the Zias looked strong as Brown sparked the offense with five of their first eight points, hitting a 3 and long jumper.
But Cameron responded with a 10-2 run, taking a 20-14 lead.
“Early in the first half I thought we came out and started pointing fingers at each other,” Weese said. “They (Cameron) got better looks in the first half than the second. That was my fault, I told them to stay between them and the bucket.”
Tiffany Williams hit Cameron’s eighth 3-pointer of the half, giving the Aggies a 46-28 lead.
Tiffany Williams was 4-of-4 from beyond the arc in the first half, and 6-for-9 overall for 18 points.
Cameron shot 50 percent from the field in the first 20 minutes, including 66.7 percent of its 3-pointers. The Zias were 33.3 percent from the field, and went 0 for 9 from 3-point range.
Eastern junior forward Rochelle vance contributed 10 points onf 4 of 5 shooting, and grabbed six rebounds coming off the bench.
Weese said he was worried about Cameron because it was still searching for its first win of the season.
Brown said the team took Weese’s warning to heart and did not sleep on the Lady Aggies.
Still the win served as a learning experience for the Zias.
“After the first half, coach came and we got yelled at, but he told everybody we need to step up and we can comeback and win,” Brown said. “It means a lot because they hadn’t won yet, and we just didn’t want that win to from us.”