Zias blow 12-point second half lead in LSC South opener

Freedom New Mexico

ABILENE, Texas — Senior center Audra Lively-Maxwell scored 24 points and grabbed 17 rebounds Tuesday night and Abilene Christian rallied from a 12-point deficit early in the second half to beat Eastern New Mexico University 73-65 in the Lone Star Conference South Division women’s opener for both teams.

Junior forward Jamie Meyer added 17 points for the Wildcats (9-6 overall), while junior point guard Kat Kundmueller had nine of the team’s 19 assists.

Sophomore forward Cat Clay hit 6-of-11 3-pointers and finished with 21 points for the Zias (9-10), who dropped their third in a row. Sophomore forward Til-Lois Fifer added 13 points, while sophomore point guard Tori Northcutt compiled eight assists with just one turnover in 38 minutes.

Clay’s 3-pointer on the game’s first possession gave the Zias a lead they didn’t relinquish until several minutes into the second half. Fifer added a 3-pointer midway through the half to make it 22-11, and a 3-pointer by Northcutt and a basket by Karen Grant in the final 90 seconds put ENMU in front 39-29 at the half.

ENMU finished the half 8-of-12 from 3-point range while holding the Wildcats to 32 percent shooting from the field.

Fifer’s rebound basket made it a 12-point game early in the second half, but the Wildcats went on a 12-0 run capped by Maxwell-Lively’s layup at the 16:30 mark to tie it 41-41.

Jody Meyer’s basket put Abilene Christian ahead for good and started a 7-0 run.

Four points from Fifer brought the Zias within two points, but ACU took off on a 9-0 run to open a double-figure lead. ENMU was unable to get closer than four points.

The Zias were 7-of-35 from the floor in the second half. They finished the game 20-for-69 from the field for 29 percent.

Lone Star Conference South
Abilene Christian 73, ENMU 65
Eastern New Mexico (9-10, 0-1) —
Vanessa O’Neal 1-6 0-0 2, Cat Clay 6-11 3-4 21, Tori Northcutt 1-10 4-4 7, Til-Lois Fifer 5-12 2-2 13, Celeste Belizario 1-6 5-6 7, Samantha Matta 1-8 0-0 3, Karen Grant 2-7 0-0 4, Lace Clark 0-0 0-0 0, Kara Bible 1-4 1-4 3, Alex Ortiz 1-1 0-0 3, Kassie Daugherty 1-4 0-0 2. Totals 20-69 15-20 65.
Abilene Christian (9-6, 1-0) — Kelsey Darby 2-7 0-1 4, Kat Kundmueller 2-7 2-2 6, Jamie Meyer 5-13 5-6 17, Jody Meyer 3-5 3-4 9, Audrey Maxwell-Lively 7-18 10-14 24, Autumn Whitaker 1-4 0-0 3, Kristee Davidson 1-4 0-0 2, Kelsea Lyda 0-1 0-0 0, Courtney Laing 4-8 0-0 8. Totals 25-67 20-27 73.
Halftime — Eastern New Mexico 39, Abilene Christian 29. 3-pointers — Eastern New Mexico 10-23 (Clay 6 -11, Ortiz 1-1, Fifer 1-3, Matta 1-3, Northcutt 1-4, Grant 0-1), Abilene Christian 3-10 (Ja. Meyer 2-3, Whitaker 1-2, Darby 0-2, Kundmueller 0-3). Rebounds — Eastern New Mexico 41 (O’Neal 7), Abilene Christian 57 (Maxwell-Lively 17). Assists — Eastern New Mexico 13 (Northcutt 8), Abilene Christian 19 (Kundmueller 11). Total fouls — Eastern New Mexico 21, Abilene Christian 18. Fouled out — O’Neal, Fifer. A — 1,150.