No. 9 Lady Buffs rip Zias

CNJ staff

CANYON, Texas — Eastern New Mexico University’s women hung with ninth-ranked West Texas A&M for a little more than a half on Wednesday at Greyhound Arena before absorbing an 18-point loss.

In Saturday’s rematch, the Zias were close for about 11 minutes before WT pulled away with a 10-0 run and went on to an 84-45 Lone Star Conference South Division rout.

The Lady Buffs (22-2, 6-1) put four players in double figures, including three off the bench. In fact, their six reserves averaged nearly 16 minutes apiece and combined for 45 points, 23 rebounds and eight assists.

Senior guard Holly Isaacs led the way with 19 points in 27 minutes. Off the bench, senior guard-forward Maddy Brown scored 14 points, sophomore forward Ashley Leven had 12 points and seven rebounds and freshman guard Callie Schniederjan added 10 points, and those three combined to go 14-for-21 from the floor.

ENMU struggled to 26 percent shooting (12-of-47), including 1-of-8 from 3-point range. Junior guard Tori Northcutt and junior forward Til-Lois Fifer led the Zias (6-16, 1-6) with 10 points apiece.

ENMU led three times by two points early before a 3-pointer by McLain put the Lady Buffs in front for good 7-6. The Zias got within 17-16 on a basket by Celeste Belizario with just over nine minutes to go in the half, but WT held them scoreless for 3 1/2 minutes and opened a 29-16 margin before Fifer made two foul shots at the 5:43 mark.

The lead stayed between 11 and 16 points for the rest of the half, which ended with the Lady Buffs in front 43-27. ENMU then endured a nine-minute drought from the field between baskets by Northcutt as the lead soared to more than 30 points.

WT, which won its 12th in a row over the Zias, shot 50 percent in the first half and 48 percent for the game and posted a 44-38 margin on the glass. The Lady Buffs forced ENMU into 22 turnovers while committing just 11 of their own.