ADA, Okla. — Jamaal Hunnicutt and Edmound Elzy posted double-doubles and Jolen Montoya hit 5 of 7 shots from 3-point range Saturday, helping the Eastern New Mexico University men’s basketball post an 83-70 Lone Star Conference crossover victory over East Central.
Hunnicutt scored 24 points and grabbed 11 rebounds while Elzy came off the bench for 12 points and 11 boards for the Greyhounds (7-8). Meantime, Montoya finished with 19 points and junior guard Jason Breland added 16.
Guard Brandon Hawkins scored 19 points for the Tigers (9-6). Reserve Dominique Williams added 17 points, and forward Darren Randall tallied 16.
“It was a good win,” said ENMU men’s coach Shawn Scanlan, who had only nine players in uniform. “We needed a good win under our circumstances. We need anything we can get.”
ENMU starters Irshaun Pinckney (ankle) and Daniel Sherman (back) did not play due to injury, while junior guard Billy Austin quit the team earlier this week.
“Jolen shot the ball like he can; he’s really been in a slump,” Scanlan said. “Hunnicutt was tough tonight. He played like he has to play for us.
“Edmound played well — lots of guys contribute when you play well. But we’ve got room for improvement. We’re making enough mistakes to keep things interesting.”
The lead seesawed early before, with the score 21-21, Breland hit a pair of 3-pointers and Montoya added another in an 11-0 run which put the Greyhounds in front for good late in the half. ENMU shot 53 percent in building a 43-33 halftime lead.
The Tigers, who have lost four of their last five, pulled to 64-62 on Hawkins’ layup with 7:19 to go. Eastern then got baskets from Montoya and Elzy around four free throws by Hunnicutt to re-establish a 10-point lead with 4 1/2 minutes left.
Scanlan was pleased with his team’s performance after Thursday’s 84-62 loss at Southeastern Oklahoma. ENMU opens LSC South play at home on Thursday against Texas A&M-Commerce.
“We played a lot better than we did Thursday,” he said. “We needed to take some steps forward, and we did that today.”