Midwestern State pulls away from Zias late

CNJ staff

WICHITA FALLS, TEXAS — The Eastern New Mexico University Zias’ road struggles continued Wednesday at Midwestern State.

The Mustangs used a 10-2 run to take the lead for good and sealed a 74-62 win at the free-throw line.

Nolisha Markham, a 5-10 senior, continued her strong play with 21 points and Cierra Thompson added 19 points as Midwestern State picked up its first Lone Star Conference South win.

Junior forward Precious Herrin scored 14 points and senior Cat Clay matched her season high with 12 points off the bench for the Zias (3-12, 1-2 LSC South), who dropped to 1-8 on the road.

The second half featured three lead changes and six ties, with the Zias taking their final lead, 52-50, on a Kiara Tate layup with 8:57 remaining. Markham’s layup with 5:27 left started Midwestern’s decisive run. Markham is averaging 21 points a game in her last six outings.

The Mustangs converted 8-of-8 free throws in the final 1:26 when ENMU was forced to foul.

Clay became the 13th player in team history to reach 1,000 career points, and with four 3-pointers she tied Teresa Ramos’ career record of 218.

The Mustangs (5-10, 1-2) opened the game with an 8-4 run. Karen Grant’s 3-pointer ignited a 13-2 run, giving Eastern a 17-10 lead. The teams traded the momentum for the rest of the half, with ENMU taking a 35-32 edge into the lockerroom.

Senior guard Vanessa O’Neal of Clovis added 10 points and nine rebounds for the Zias, who lost their third straight, while freshman Jade Brown registered career highs with nine points and five rebounds.