By Mickey Winfield: Freedom New Mexico
Eastern New Mexico Greyhound basketball coach Shawn Scanlan isn’t using the shorthanded status of his team as an excuse. He simply doesn’t believe the five Greyhounds hitting the court at any given time are playing good basketball.
The Greyhounds stayed with the Angelo State Rams for the entire first half in Saturday night’s LSC south contest at Greyhound Arena, but the Rams used a 20-8 second-half run to cruise to a 70-54 win.
“I thought tonight was a real lackluster effort,” Scanlan said. “I thought we played hard in spurts, but we weren’t efficient in that effort and this was as bad as we’ve played in a long time.”
The Rams (12-6, 1-2) started fast, jumping out to an 8-0 lead they would never relinquish.
The Hounds (6-13, 0-4) came to life with a 8-2 run of their own, highlighted by four points from senior forward Kendall Clark, cutting the Angelo State lead to 10-8.
Angelo State flirted with a 10-point lead the entire first half, but the Greyhound offense kept pace.
At the end of the first half, ENMU Junior guard Marquis Ruffin stole the ball and hit a layup as the buzzer sounded to bring the home team to within five points at the half, as Angelo State led 36-31 at the break.
The second half was all Angelo State.
“I think we played good the first half,” ENMU senior Justin Redman-Trotter said. “We played hard and we played together as a team. In the second half, (Angelo State) got onto a run and from there on, it was their game.”
Redman-Trotter scored 14 of his team-high 17 points in the first half to keep the Hounds close.
Clark followed with 13 points, while Ruffin added nine.
“It looked like they were running a couple of guys at me in the second half trying to not let me get the ball,” Redman-Trotter said. “That affected how I played. I forced a couple of shots I shouldn’t have.”
“They were (the total package) tonight, and I think we had a lot to do with that unfortunately,” Scanlan said. “I think we put them in positions where (Angelo State) could show what they were. They haven’t done that in the previous two games. We gave them way too many opportunities to pluck away at us.”
Angelo senior forward Marcus Hubbard scored 17 of his game-high 24 points in the first half. Junior Nathan Walton and senior Brice Nengsu scored 11 points each.
“When you give a good team that many chances, they’re going to do it,” Scanlan said. “I think our problem right now is the same chapter, maybe sometimes a different verse. But it’s the same issues. We have not been a consistently fundamentally sound basketball team. We can’t overcome turnovers, we cannot afford to let people have multiple paths at us on the same trip down the floor.”
The Hounds are idle until Saturday, when they travel to Wichita Falls to play Midwestern State.
When they return home, the Hounds have a three-game home-stand, starting with Tarleton State Feb. 6.
Angelo State 70, ENMU 54
Angelo State (12-6, 1-2) — Nathan Walton 5-10 0-0 11, Marcus Hubbard 9-15 3-4 24, Brice Nengsu 4-7 1-1 11, Denell Stephens 0-1 1-4 1, Jerod Haynes 0-2 0-0 0, Trey Mays 0-1 3-4 3, Maso Hamilton 0-1 0-0 0, Derrick Webster 4-11 0-4 8, Chase Weishuhn 0-0 0-0 0, Quin Barfield 3-5 2-2 9, Roger Johnson 1-4 0-0 3, Antwon Williams 0-1 0-0 0, Brandon Hohle 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 26-58 10-19 70.
Eastern New Mexico (6-13, 0-4) — Jamaal Hadley 0-2 0-0 0, Matt Churchman 3-6 0-0 6, Justin Redman-Trotter 6-15 2-2 17, Marquis Ruffin 4-5 1-2 9, Kendall Clark 6-12 0-0 13, Chad Johnson 3-7 0-2 7, Travis Cooper 1-3 0-0 2. Totals 23-50 3-6 54.
Halftime — Angelo State 36, Eastern New Mexico 31. 3-pointers — Angelo State 8-20 (Hubbard 3-5, Nengsu 2-4, Barfield 1-1, Walton 1-2, R. Johnson 1-4, Hamilton 0-1, Webster 0-3), Eastern New Mexico 5-16 (Redman-Trotter 3-7, Clark 1-3, C. Johnson 1-5, Cooper 0-1). Rebounds — Angelo State 38 (Barfield, Hubbard 6), Eastern New Mexico 27 (Cooper 6). Assists — Angelo State 13 (Haynes 3), Eastern New Mexico 14 (C. Johnson 4). Total fouls — Angelo State 15, Eastern New Mexico 15. Fouled out — Ruffin. A — 379.