Freedom New Mexico
DENTON, Texas — Junior forward Precious Herrin’s jumper less than three minutes in put Eastern New Mexico University in front for good and the Zias went on to a 59-44 Lone Star Conference women’s crossover win over Texas Woman’s on Saturday afternoon.
Herrin finished with 18 points and six rebounds for the Zias (2-5), while sophomore guard Krista Ford scored 15 points and senior forward Cat Clay added 11 points and a team-best eight rebounds. All five ENMU starters played at least 25 minutes, led by Clay and Herrin with 38 minutes each and guard Kiara Tate with 36.
Senior guard Brooke Shepherd scored 14 points and freshman guard Tabbatha Thurmond added 13 for the Pioneers (6-4), who dropped their third consecutive game while scoring 45 points or less in each. TWU shot just 33 percent from the floor, including 29 percent (8-for-28 in the second half.
Herrin’s go-ahead basket made it 8-7, then Clay and Ford knocked down 3-pointers and Ford added a jumper at the 14:15 mark to make it 16-7.
TWU was within 24-20, but failed to score over the final 4 1/2 minutes of the half. Herrin hit a free throw and a basket and Clay drained a 3-pointer with 22 seconds to go to make it 30-20 at halftime.
Shepherd nailed a 3-pointer with just over 17 minutes left as the Pioneers closed to 32-29. ENMU went on an 11-2 run that included two baskets from Ford for a 12-point lead with under 12 minutes to go.
Jeanee Thompson’s layup pulled TWU to 46-40 at the 6:55 mark, but the Pioneers did not score from the field the rest of the way. Shepherd’s two free throws made it a four-point game with 5:01 to go, but Shepherd promptly fouled Tate, who converted both free throws.
TWU missed its final 12 shots from the field, including five 3-point attempts. Sophomore guard Tara Johnson gave the Zias some breathing room by hitting a 3-pointers with three minutes left for a 53-43 margin.
ENMU returns to action with another crossover game at Texas A&M-Commerce, set for a 5 p.m. (MST) tipoff.