Pinckney’s late basket lifts ENMU


EDMOND, Okla. — Clovis junior Irshaun Pinckney hit a 10-foot jump shot from the left baseline with 15 seconds left and Eastern New Mexico University overcame a late nine-point deficit to edge Central Oklahoma 67-66 Thursday night in a Lone Star Conference men’s crossover game.

UCO’s Deshone Henderson missed a 3-pointer and teammate Reggie Paul came up empty on a tip-in in the closing seconds as the Greyhounds (3-3) snapped their three-game losing streak.

Senior Garland Coleman scored 24 points, including 9-of-10 from the field, while junior college transfer Kennis Green hit 4-of-5 from 3-point range in the second half to finish with a season-best 20 points.

“It was an ugly game, but it was a good, solid, come-from-behind win,” ENMU men’s coach Shawn Scanlan said. “We dug down and found a way to win. It was good to see we had the character to finish the game.”

Kentrell Gaddis hit back-to-back 3-pointers to start a 15-0 run that put Central in front 24-14 with eight minutes left in the half. Two free throws by Henderson made it 34-20 before the Hounds closed to nine with the final five points of the half.

Three-pointers by Green gave ENMU leads of 42-40 and 45-42 with 12 minutes left, but the Bronchos responded with a 12-2 run and led 63-54 after two free throws by Tyler Phillips with 3:21 to go.

UCO’s only points the rest of the way came on a 3-pointer by Nick Graham at the 1:58 mark, making it 66-60. Green’s final 3-pointer and a layup by Jamaal Hunnicutt pulled Eastern to 66-65 with 1:17 left.

Pinckney’s basket gave him 10 points, while Hunnicutt finished with seven points, nine rebounds, seven assists and three blocked shots.

Henderson led UCO with 13 points, but committed a first-half technical for hanging on the rim after a dunk. Brent Cooper made two free throws on the technical and Hunnicutt converted a basket on Eastern’s possession, cutting UCO’s lead from 10 points to 26-20.

Graham finished with 11 points and Gaddis had 10 for the Bronchos.

“We changed defenses on them a little in the second half, and that took a little bit away from their rhythm,” Scanlan said. “Garland Coleman had a real nice game; he was pretty steady all night long, and he defended well on Henderson.”

ENMU played without the services of junior Edmound Elzy, who suffered an ankle injury in Monday’s 77-73 loss at Lubbock Christian. Scanlan said his status for Saturday’s game at defending NCAA Division II national champion Northeastern State is uncertain.