Hounds trounce Cowgirls

By David Norton
Staff report
dnorton@pntonline.com
PORTALES — With a stifling fullcourt press and a dominant inside presence, the Eastern New Mexico University women’s basketball team won a lopsided 75-48 decision over New Mexico Highlands on Tuesday night at Greyhound Arena.

Staff photo: David Norton Kassandra Harris slips past a defender to score during the first half of the Greyhounds’ 75-48 win over New Mexico Highlands on Tuesday night at Greyhound Arena.

Staff photo: David Norton
Kassandra Harris slips past a defender to score during the first half of the Greyhounds’ 75-48 win over New Mexico Highlands on Tuesday night at Greyhound Arena.

The Greyhounds’ defense controlled the game all night, generating 20 turnovers and holding the Cowgirls (1-2) to just 22 percent from the floor. The defensive effort was never more apparent than in the second quarter, when Eastern (2-2) held Highlands without a field goal for over nine minutes.

The team also scored 18 points off turnovers and 28 off fast breaks, using its defense to generate a good portion of the offense.

Hounds coach Josh Prock said, “The press goes back to the Fort Lewis game. I realized at the end of that game we could be a pretty good pressing team. I figured the more we did it the better we would get and tonight the girls really did well understanding where to go, when to trap. They did a phenomenal job of executing.”

Sarina Johnson led all scorers with 15 points and Kassandra Harris had 14. Other in double figures were Johna McClelland with 11 and Mikaehla Connor with 10.

Daeshi McCants and Harris led the Hounds in rebounding, each pulling down eight boards. McClelland finished with six boards of her own as the Hounds dominated the glass 49-36.

The inside presence of Eastern could be felt not only on the glass, but in the paint as well, with 48 of its points coming in the key.

Harris said, “Our size and tenacity is our real advantage down there. Being physical, taking them out of their game and so we can play our game. We really tried to play good defense tonight. … Good defense can really ignite your offense and that’s what we did tonight.”

The only blemish on an otherwise shining performance was the team’s shooting percentage from beyond the arc. ENMU went 2 for 17 for 12 percent.

“It really kind of puzzled me as far as 3-point shooting, because we are definitely better than that,” Prock said. “Are we going to be a 40, 50 percent 3-point team? No, we are not — but we are much better than we shot tonight,.”

For the Cowgirls, Ari Baca led the way with 12 points, while Brianna Pribble and Kaylani Maiava added nine and eight, respectively.