Freedom New Mexico
GRANTS — Junior forward D.J. Nicholas scored 22 points and grabbed nine rebounds and senior guard Devin Stewart added 16 points and a career-best 10 assists Friday night as Western New Mexico notched an 87-69 win over Eastern New Mexico University in a game played at Grants H.S.
The Mustangs (2-1) shot 54 percent from the floor and converted 26-of-35 freethrows. They took the lead for good late in the half on a 3-pointer by freshman forward Eli Crevelone and steadily extended the lead throughout the second half.
ENMU (0-3) continued to struggle to score. The Greyhounds outrebounded Western 41-31, but shot 44 percent from the floor and converted only 5-of-16 from the free throw line.
Senior forward J.J. Galberth added 12 points for the Mustanges. ENMU got 11 points each from junior guards Dannon Wafer and Kelvin Franklin, and Wafer also had a double-double with a game-high 10 rebounds.
The Hounds took an early 4-0 lead and stayed close for most of the first half. ENMU took its final lead at 25-23 on a layup by guard Justin Reynolds with 4:33 left in the half, but fell behind 37-32 at the break.
Western opened the first double-figure lead of the game, scoring seven of the first nine points of the secondd half for a 44-34 margin with about 18 minutes left.
Eastern got as close as 49-44 on a basket by guard Aaron King with 13:48 to go, but the Mustangs put the game out of reach with a 10-0 run over 4 1/2 minutes to make it 80-61 with 2:20 left.