GOODWELL, Okla. — It didn’t take long Tuesday night for the Eastern New Mexico University men’s team to turn a tight game into a blowout.
Justin Redman-Trotter, Dwight Collins and Tristan Largent hit 3-point shots in the final minute of the first half — including a shot from beyond midcourt by Largent as time expired — and the Greyhounds never looked back in an 81-53 victory over Oklahoma Panhandle State.
Senior forward Mikal Monette had 10 field goals for a third straight game, finishing with a game-high 20 points in just 21 minutes for ENMU (4-4). Monette went 10-for-15 against the Aggies (1-7) and is 30-for-37 from the floor in his last three games.
“Mike had a good second half,” ENMU men’s coach Shawn Scanlan said. “He had some defensive blunders in the first half, but it cleaned that up after halftime.”
Largent added 16 points and a game-high five assists in 36 minutes.
Redman-Trotter’s 3-pointer snapped a 30-30 tie with 46 seconds left in the half and ENMU carried a 39-32 lead into the intermission. The Hounds held Panhandle to just nine points in the first 10 1/2 minutes of the second half in building a 17-point advantage, and eventually led by 30 in the final minute.
“We played well in the second half,” Scanlan said. “There’s no question that was the best half we’ve put together this year.”
Scanlan said the Hounds actually began their turnaround after a media timeout with about three minutes left in the half and the Aggies leading by a basket.
“It just seemed like we carried that (momentum) into the second half,” he said. “We had a good effort from everybody tonight.”
ENMU, which shot 62 percent in a 90-81 victory over Cameron on Saturday night at Greyhound Arena, continued its good shooting in this one. The Hounds shot 55 percent overall (35-of-64) and converted 8-of-18 from 3-point range.
Scanlan noted that the Hounds held Panhandle’s two leading scorers, forwards LaChawn Anderson (17 ppg) and Fred Durr (12 ppg), well below their averages. Durr finished with eight points and Anderson had six.
Junior forward William Stephenson had 19 points and was the only player in double figures for Panhandle, which has lost seven in a row since a season-opening win over New Mexico Highlands.
The Hounds return to Lone Star Conference crossover play against the North Division on Saturday with a 3 p.m. (MST) contest at Texas A&M-Commerce (5-3).
“We expect Commerce to be a really good team, and it’ll be a tough trip,” Scanlan said. “But this (win) will give us some momentum going into that game.”