Freedom New Mexico
GUNNISON, Colo. — Newcomers Max Carrier and Aaron Edwards are fitting in quickly for the Greyhounds.
The junior college transfers from California combined for 35 points and 19 rebounds to lead Eastern New Mexico University to a 74-67 win over Western State on Wednesday.
The win kicks off a three-game swing through Colorado.
Carrier’s layup with 1:42 to go gave ENMU the lead for good at 66-65 in a game that featured nine ties and 10 lead changes.
Versia Hodges, another junior college transfer, hit 4 of 4 free throws down the stretch to help seal the win.
Edwards, a 6-foot-7 forward from Long Beach, came off the bench to register his second double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Carrier, also 6-7, added 15 points and nine rebounds for ENMU (2-0), which owned a 27 to 7 edge in points off turnovers and a 32 to 13 edge in points off the bench.
Alex Hart led Western State (0-1) with 20 points and Troy McCoy, a 6-7 senior, added 11 points, 15 rebounds and four blocks.
The Mountaineers owned a 44 to 26 edge in points in the paint.
After an early exchange of baskets, Tyler Jefferson’s jumper ignited a 10-2 ENMU run, giving the Hounds a 14-6 lead with 14:35 left in the opening half, but the Mountaineers pulled to within 38-37 at halftime on a Jake Braddy.
The back-and-forth action continued into the second half, with the Mountaineers rallying from a six-point deficit to tie the game at 60-all with 3:28 remaining. From that point, there were four lead changes, with Hart giving Western State its final lead, 65-64, on a 3-point bucket with 2:02 left.
ENMU plays at Fort Lewis College Friday night.