Freedom New Mexico
STEPHENVILLE, Texas — Guard Drake Green scored six of his game-high 20 points in a 12-2 run which gave Pittsburg State the lead for good Friday night, and the Gorillas held on to beat Eastern New Mexico University 77-71 in the season-opening South Central Region Challenge, hosted by Tarleton State.
The Texans faced Southeastern Oklahoma in Friday’s late game. Tonight’s schedule pits ENMU against Southeastern Oklahoma at 4 p.m. (MST), followed by Tarleton against Pitt State.
Green added a team-high eight rebounds for the Gorillas. Pitt State had three other starters in double figures in guards Nolan Marky (16) and Eric Ray (15) and forward Andra Bailey (10).
Senior forward Aaron Edwards led ENMU with 14 points off the bench, while senior guard Stefan Mirabal added 11. The Hounds, though, hit just 2-of-13 from 3-point range, shot 35 percent overall from the field and made only 23-of-40 free throws.
There were 66 fouls in the contest, and six players — including four Hounds — fouled out.
The Greyhounds opened a 7-0 lead in the first three minutes, but Pitt State responded with the next nine points and the game went back-and-forth the rest of the half.
Courtney Ingram’s 3-point play gave the Gorillas their biggest lead of the night at 22-13 with under eight minutes left in the half. The Hounds rallied back, though, outscoring Pitt State 16-7 over the final 4 1/2 minutes to lead 37-35 at intermission.
There were several lead changes in the second half. The Hounds overcame a six-point deficit to lead 58-54 on a 3-point play by Edwards with 8:41 to play.
Bailey’s driving layup gave the Gorillas the lead for good 62-60 with 5:41to go. ENMU pulled to 73-71 on two free throws by Maurice McGee with 18 seconds left, but Ray and Drake each added two free throws in the remaining time for the final margin.