Junior Ciara Fields went for a game-high 19 points as the Western New Mexico University women’s basketball team had the game in single digits into the second half before Eastern New Mexico University used strong play in the third and fourth quarters to take the 69-49 Lone Star Conference victory over the Lady Mustangs Tuesday night.
ENMU (6-6, 2-3 LSC) utilized big first and third quarters, outscoring WNMU (0-13, 0-5 LSC) 39-22 to pull away from the Lady Mustangs. Senior Jade Botelho and junior Takiyah Lopez were second in scoring with eight points apiece. Fields and Lopez tied for the team lead in rebounds with five apiece, senior Melody McLaughlin dished out three assists and also added four steals. Fields and Botelho sent two blocks back each.
Fields opened the game scoring 47 seconds in when she connected on a jumper for the early lead. The Greyhounds responded in a big way reeling off the next 10 points to take a 10-2 lead.
Fields and Lopez answered back with a pair of three-pointers to trim the deficit back to two at 10-8. Fields helped WNMU get back to within three near the midway point of the quarter when she converted a three-point-play, but ENMU outscored the Lady Mustangs by five the rest of the way for a 22-14 lead through the first 10 minutes.
Points from McLaughlin and Botelho in the second quarter kept the lead at just six and after ENMU pushed the lead as high as 11, freshman Rachel Francisco capped the half with a trey to leave the Greyhounds in front 34-26 at halftime as the teams each scored 12 points in the second frame.
A Fields three-pointer just over three minutes into the second half pulled WNMU back to within nine just to watch ENMU go on a 9-0 run to open up an 18-point advantage.
A McLaughlin fastbreak layup at the 7:27 mark of the fourth quarter got WNMU as close as they could get the rest of the way down by 13 as ENMU finished the game outscoring the Lady Mustangs by seven to take the victory.
WNMU made 19-57 (33) from the field, 6-22 (27) from three and 5-6 (83) at the foul line. ENMU countered connecting on 23-52 (44) from the field, 8-15 (53) from three and 15-19 (79) at the foul line.
The Lady Mustangs held the edge on second chance points (9-6) and were close on fastbreak points (12-9). ENMU also led on points off turnovers (24-12), points in the paint (30-18) and bench points (26-6).
WNMU will return home to finish out the week with another conference game on Saturday starting at 2 p.m. inside Drag’s Court against Texas Woman’s. The Pioneers will visit Eastern New Mexico on Thursday.