Hounds repeat LSC South championship

CNJ STAFF

ABILENE, Texas — Travazz Buckley and Kennis Green led five Eastern New Mexico University players in double figures with 16 points each as the Greyhounds nailed down their second consecutive Lone Star Conference South Division men’s regular-season championship Saturday with an 85-75 victory over Abilene Christian.

The Hounds (20-7, 10-2 South) needed the win to outlast Texas A&M-Kingsville (18-9, 9-3) for the division’s top seed in the LSC tournament. ENMU will host the North’s fourth-place team in a first-round game on Tuesday at Greyhound Arena.

“It’s extremely difficult to win any championship, but to win it twice in a row is really tough,” ENMU men’s coach Shawn Scanlan said. “I’m really proud of these guys.”

ACU (12-15, 3-9), which finished sixth in the seven-team circuit, didn’t make it easy. Senior forward Tucker Pierson scored 21 points on 10-of-12 field goal shooting and grabbed eight rebounds, while junior guard David Baxter added 18.

Baxter and senior guard Rodney Lee each had four of ACU’s nine 3-pointers.

The Wildcats took a pair of two-point leads just past the midway point of the second half before Eastern mounted a 7-0 run and gradually pulled away.

“Tucker Pierson had a great game,” Scanlan said. “We’re fortunate he got in foul trouble.”

Eastern got off to a strong start, scoring the game’s first six points and leading 14-3 after a jumper by senior Garland Coleman with less than five minutes gone.

The Wildcats countered, closing to 18-17 on a basket by Pierson and taking their first lead at 32-31 on a 3-point play by Atiba Alexander with 3:13 left in the half. The Hounds regained a 38-36 lead at halftime.

Coleman, Brent Cooper and Jamal Hunnicutt all added 13 points for the Hounds, who shot 60 percent from the field (32-of-53).

ENMU 85, Abilene Christian 75
ENMU (20-7, 10-2) —
Irshaun Pinckney 2-5 2-2 6, Brent Cooper 5-5 2-4 13, Garland Coleman 6-8 1-2 13, Jamaal Hunnicutt 3-6 7-10 13, Travazz Buckley 7-13 2-6 16, David Hamilton 1-2 0-0 2, Jamal Washington 2-5 1-2 6, Kennis Green 6-7 4-4 16, Edmound Elzy 0-2 0-2 0. Totals 32-53 19-32 85.
Abilene Christian (12-15, 3-9) — Rodney Lee 4-16 0-0 12, Cliff Green 0-3 2-2 2, Tucker Pierson 10-12 1-3 21, Matthias Krieg 1-4 0-1 2, Rance Bland 0-1 0-0 0, David Baxter 6-14 2-2 18, Matt Sutherland 0-0 0-0 0, Atiba Alexander 1-2 1-1 3, Calvin Nite 2-3 0-0 5, Adrian Scott 0-1 0-0 0, Mauro Matai 5-7 2-6 12, Charles Chinn 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 29-64 8-15 75.
Halftime — ENMU 38, Abilene Christian 36. 3-pointers — ENMU 2-7 (Cooper 1-1, Washington 1-1, Elzy 0-1, K. Green 0-1, Hamilton 0-1, Pinckney 0-2), Abilene Christian 9-26 (Baxter 4-9, Lee 4-14, Nite 1-2, C. Green 0-1). Rebounds — ENMU 31 (Hunnicutt 9), Abilene Christian 35 (Pierson 8). Assists — ENMU 20 (Coleman 6, Abilene Christian 22 (C. Green 8). Total fouls — ENMU 21, Abilene Christian 24. Fouled out — Pierson, Baxter. A — n/a.