Zias can’t keep up with Lady Buffs

Staff report
CANYON, Texas — You kind of figured Eastern New Mexico University’s women were in trouble when, trailing by 12 points ad the intermission, they opened the second half 11-for-15 from the field and found themselves down by 19 at that point.

Fourth-ranked West Texas A&M pulled away from there, posting a 99-67 victory over the Zias in the Lone Star Conference and regular-season finale for both teams.

Senior forward Chontiquah White scored 21 points, going 7-for-10 from the floor and 7-for-7 from the free throw line, as WT (24-2, 15-1) extended its winning streak to 15 games. The Lady Buffs shot 9-of-14 from 3-point range, 35-of-54 from the field overall (65 percent) and 20-of-23 from the free throw line.

Senior guard Ariel Robertson went 7-of-7 from the floor and finished with 18 points and seven rebounds, while junior guard Danielle Logan came off the bench for 11 points — 3-of-4 from 3-point range — and a team-high five assists.

Junior guard Sarah Stinnett led the Zias (9-17, 5-11) with 22 points on 9-of-48 shooting, and added four assists. Senior forward Tori Tucker posted her fifth career double-double with 19 points and a game-high 10 rebounds, while junior guard Jordyn Cooper shot 5-for-7 from distance and finished with 15 points.

The Zias, who finished seventh in the LSC, will face the No. 2 seed in an 11 a.m. (MST) Wednesday quarterfinal of the league tournament at Allen, Texas. That will be Midwestern State or Cameron, who play today at Lawton, Okla., in a game that will determine the higher seed for the tournament.

The Zias, who lost earlier to WT 102-51 at Greyhound Arena, took a 5-2 lead just over three minutes in on a 3-point play by Stinnett, but they simply couldn’t keep up with the Lady Buffs’ hot early shooting.

Three-pointers by junior guards Madison McClain and Michaela Neuhaus gave WT a 15-8 lead before a Tucker 3-pointer pulled the Zias back to 24-21 with six minutes left in the half.

ENMU stayed within 35-29 on a free throw by Stinnett with 1:21 to go, but three-point plays by Robertson and White extended it to 41-29 at the intermission.

The lead was never under double figures the rest of the way. Tucker’s basket at the 11:08 mark capped the Zias’ hot start and made it 74-55, but they went 4-of-20 the rest of the way as the Lady Buffs continuously extended their margin.

ENMU finished the game at 43 percent on 26-of-61 and knocked down 8-of-17 from 3-point range.