PORTALES — Eastern New Mexico University's women found some offense for the first time this season Wednesday night, but they didn't have the size to deal with Angelo State's Lauren Holt.
The 6-foot-3 junior put together a huge night with 23 points, 16 rebounds, four assists and three blocks and the Rambelles staved off the Zias 72-64 in the Lone Star Conference women's opener for both teams at Greyhound Arena.
Holt and guards Leah LeMaire and Cassi Stegall combined for all but four of ASU's 40 second-half points, but the Rambelles (3-3) were unable to put the Zias away until sinking 7-of-8 free throws over the final 39 seconds.
ENMU freshmanJaylyn Cooper drives around Angelo State's Cassi Stegall in the first half of Wednesday's game at Greyhound Arena. Cooper finished with three points in a 72-64 Zias' loss.
ENMU (0-5), which came in averaging 43 points with a high of 49 in a season-opening loss at Oklahoma Panhandle State, led for much of the first half before the Rambelles used a 13-0 run just before the break to take the lead for good.
"We threw everything at them we could," Zias coach Lindsey Wilson said. "She (Holt) is just a good basketball player."
Rambelles coach Sally Brooks was just happy to get out with a win.
"We went in thinking this was a must-win game, even though it was the first game of conference," she said. "I was proud of the way we played for 40 minutes."
LeMaire finished with 18 points and Stegall added 11 off the bench. The Zias got four 3-pointers and a season-best 14 points from senior guard Hannah Altheide, while freshman forward Nelsha Peterson matched her total through four games with 12 points off the bench.
"It was like a completely different team," Wilson said of her squad. "We made huge strides that didn't even show up on the scoreboard."
Wilson said all 10 players who saw action for the Zias contributed.
"I think everybody was important for us tonight, even the players off the bench," she said. "Our young kids still have to figure out it's a long game."
The Zias got off to a fast start, hitting seven of their first 11 shots and opening a pair of eight-point leads in the first 14 minutes. Altheide's second 3-pointer, from the left wing, gave ENMU a 20-12 lead with 11:08 left in the half, and a lane drive by Clovis redshirt freshman Ashlee Pierson made it 24-16 with 6 1/2 minutes remaining.
The Rambelles then got back-to-back treys from well beyond the arc by guard Haylee Oliver, and another trey by freshman guard Amanda Weaver gave them their first lead since the 15-minute mark at 25-24 with 3:45 to go.
Baskets by Holt and LeMaire completed the run, but Pierson and Peterson got baskets from close range to keep the Zias within 32-28 at the half.
Angelo opened its biggest lead of the night at 40-31 on back-to-back three-point plays by Holt and LeMaire, but the Zias ran off a 10-2 spurt that included five points from Texico freshman Jordyn Cooper to get within a point with 13:10 left.
The Rambelles never relinquished the lead, but couldn't put the Zias away. Two free throws by Altheide made it 63-61 with 1:19 to go, but Holt found guard Faith Hunt for a back-door layup with 55 seconds left and the Rambelles finished the game on a 9-3 run.
"I thought Eastern New Mexico played well," Brooks said. "We had to make big plays at the end to win the game. When you win by almost double figures on the road, it shows a lot of heart."
Angelo State (3-3, 1-0) — Lauren Holt 10-15 3-5 23, Haylee Oliver 2-7 2-2 8, Morgan Youngblood 0-0 0-0 0, Leah LeMaire 5-8 7-11 18, Faith Hunt 2-5 2-2 7, Giselle Aguirre 0-2 0-0 0, Cassi Stegall 5-11 1-2 11, Jennifer Lapp 0-0 0-0 0, Devon Wilde 0-1 0-0 0, Amanda Weaver 1-3 0-0 3, Chesney Neely 0-1 2-2 2. Totals 25-53 17-24 72.
Eastern New Mexico (0-5, 0-1) — Jasmine Johnson 2-5 0-0 4, Ashlee Pierson 4-10 1-2 9, Hannah Altheide 4-18 2-2 14, Amber Williford 0-3 2-4 2, Jaylyn Cooper 1-1 0-0 3, Jordyn Cooper 2-4 0-1 5, Lakeeyscia Griffin 2-6 0-0 4, Tara Johnson 2-4 0-0 6, Taylor Collier 1-2 3-3 5, Nelsha Peterson 5-6 2-2 12. Totals 23-59 10-14 64.
Halftime — Angelo State 32, Eastern New Mexico 28. 3-pointers — Angelo State 5-15 (Oliver 2-4, Hunt 1-1, LeMaire 1-2, Weaver 1-3, Aguirre 0-2, Stegall 0-3), Eastern New Mexico 8-21 (Altheide 4-10, T. Johnson 2-3, Ja. Cooper 1-1, Jo. Cooper 1-3, Collier 0-1, Pierson 0-1, Griffin 0-2). Rebounds — Angelo State 39 (Holt 16), Eastern New Mexico 30 (J. Johnson 8). Assists — Angelo State 14 (Oliver 5), Eastern New Mexico 15 (T. Johnson 4). Total fouls — Angelo State 10, Eastern New Mexico 20. Fouled out — Pierson, Williford. A — 312.