ABILENE, Texas — Junior Justin Redman-Trotter hit four late free throws, including the two clinching shots with five seconds left, as Eastern New Mexico University held off Abilene Christian 86-82 on Thursday in the men’s Lone Star Conference South Division opener for both teams.
Senior guard Stephen Wilson went 10-of-14 from the field and scored 23 for the Greyhounds (7-8), leading four players in double figures. Wilson matched his career high, set last week against East Central, and has scored 68 points in the team’s past three games.
ENMU saw a 14-point lead with under 11 minutes left trimmed to 82-81 on two free throws by Philip Brooks with 1:02 left, but Redman-Trotter extended the lead to three with two free throws with 1:02 to go.
The Wildcats’ Marcus Hubner made 1-of-2 free throws with 43 seconds left before Redman-Trotter, who went 9-for-10 from the line en route to 14 points, clinched it in the closing seconds.
Senior guard Tristan Largent added 14 points and senior post Mikal Monette chipped in 12 points and seven rebounds for the Hounds. The Wildcats (9-6) also had four men in double figures, led by Brooks with 17 points.
“We just toughed it out,” ENMU coach Shawn Scanlan said. “They kind of caught some late momentum, but we held it off. It was a huge win.”
Wilson was averaging less than seven points before his current surge.
“Stephen is on a good run right now,” Scanlan said. “Offensively, he’s hit some big shots for us and he’s trying to defend well.”
ENMU fell behind by nine in the first half, but rallied for a 41-39 lead at the break and extended the margin to 67-53 on Redman-Trotter’s two free throws with 10:41 to go.
“When our defense went south, they came back on us,” Scanlan said. “In all honesty, it wasn’t a perfect game, but we toughed it out. It was a gutty win.”
The Hounds shot 55 percent for the game and held the Wildcats to 42 percent. Abilene Christian had a 34-29 rebounding edge.