Texas Woman’s uses quick start to subdue Zias

Freedom New Mexico

DENTON, Texas — Senior forward Renee Renz scored 23 points and
grabbed eight rebounds and Texas Woman’s bolted to a 13-1 lead in the
first six minutes en route to an 86-71 victory over Eastern New Mexico
University Saturday in a Lone Star Conference women’s crossover game.

Renz, who scored 63 points in a four-overtime loss at Abilene
Christian on Monday and had 26 points and 12 boards while playing all
40 minutes in a 93-88 upset of sixth-ranked West Texas A&M on
Thursday, had a relatively quiet night against the Zias. She played
only 25 minutes and struggled from the field, going 7-of-22.

Freshman guard Jessica Hanna went 3-for-3 from 3-point range and
added 19 points, while Casey Pool also had three treys off the bench
and finished with 14 for the Pioneers (9-4).

The Zias, meantime, got a double-double from junior guard Vanessa
O’Neal of Clovis with career bests of 17 points and 12 rebounds. She
went 6-of-12 from the field and converted all five of her free throw
attampts.

Sophomore guard Cat Clay added 14 points, while sophomore forward Til-Lois Fifer contributed nine points and 14 rebounds.

The Zias shot nearly 50 percent in the second half, but couldn’t
make up for a 28 percent showing (8-of-29) in the opening stanza, which
ended with the Pioneers comfortably in front 44-22.

Both teams struggled in the opening moments, with TWU leading just
2-1 after three minutes. Then Megan Hashman hit two free throws as the
Pioneers took control with 11 points.

ENMU was held without a field goal until Fifer nailed a jumper at the 12:25 mark, making it 15-5.

Two free throws by Renz made it 25-14 with 6:08 left in the half,
and the margin was never under double figures after that. The free
throws kicked off a 12-1 surge that made it 35-15 with three minutes
lefti n the half.

Texas Woman’s opened its biggest lead (51-26) on a layup by Renz
with 17:13 left in the game. The Pioneers reached that margin again
with 3:50 left on a basket by Hanna, making it 81-56 with 3:50 to go,
before the Zias finished up on a 15-5 run.

Texas Woman’s won comfortably despite shooting 38 percent from the
field and getting outrebounded by the Zias 56-38. The Pioneers finished
11-of-24 from 3-point range and forced the Zias into 28 turnovers.

Guard Tiandrea Dixon came off the bench for eight of Texas Woman’s 19 assists.

ENMU’s remaining 12 games will be in South Division play, beginning with a 5 p.m. (MST) tipoff on Tuesday at Abilene Christian.