CLOVIS — Lone Star Conference basketball is coming to The Rock tonight.
Eastern New Mexico University’s basketball teams welcome Angelo State to Rock Staubus Gym for a Lone Star Conference doubleheader, beginning with the women’s game at 5:30 p.m.
ENMU men’s coach Andrew Helton said the games were originally scheduled for San Angelo, Texas, but because of finals at ENMU were switched to Portales to avoid lengthy travel this week.
They were then moved to Clovis, in part because of midyear graduation exercises at Greyhound Arena and in part because the Greyhounds and Zias were looking at playing in Clovis at some point.
“I’m really excited about it,” Helton said. “We’re hoping to get a very pro-Eastern crowd.”
Zias coach Lindsey Wilson echoed those sentiments.
“It’ll be fun to expand our playing area to Clovis,” she said. “Hopefully, they’ll like what they see and come to Portales on Saturday (for games against Abilene Christian).”
The Hounds (7-3, 0-2 LSC), who will be playing for the first time in 12 days, and Rams (6-4, 0-2) have had a competitive series in recent years, capped by last season’s four-overtime ENMU win at San Angelo which helped propel the team into the LSC tournament.
The Rams have undergone a major overhaul in personnel since last season, Helton said.
“They’re new guys, but they’re very talented,” he said. “Style-wise, they’re similar to a year ago — just with different guys.”
Meantime, the Zias (2-6, 1-2) have played just once since Dec. 3 and are ready to get back at it after final exams, Wilson said.
“It was a good break,” she said. “It gave us a chance to rest our legs and spend time on our finals.”
The Zias and Rambelles (4-5, 2-1) play a similar style, Wilson said, with one post and four guards most of the time.
Winning their final two games before the break would be a nice lift, Wilson said.
“It would give us more confidence going into the rest of the conference season,” she said.