Doss’ 24 gives Zias road win

Freedom Newspapers

KINGSVILLE, Texas — Junior forward Tia Doss scored a career-best 24 points and Eastern New Mexico University finished the game on a 14-4 run Saturday to beat Texas A&M-Kingsville 77-67 in a Lone Star Conference South Division women’s game.

Guard Heather Brown added 18 points and six assists for the Zias (9-10, 3-3 South). Junior post Tiana Bryant contributed 14 points and seven rebounds while senior guard Mika Robertson added 10 points.

ENMU hit 5-of-8 from 3-point range and shot 58 percent in the second half. The Zias made all 12 of the free throws after the break and finished the game 24-of-27, led by Doss (8-for-10) and Brown (6-for-7).

Trailing 30-29, the Javelinas (4-15, 0-6) scored the first eight points of the second half. ENMU then came back with a 17-1 run and took a 47-38 lead with 12:53 left after two free throws by senior guard Casey Rodriguez.

Kingsville climbed back into the game and led 59-56 before Robertson buried a 3-pointer with 5:45 left. Robertson’s jumper with 3:35 to go put the Zias in front for good 65-63, and freshman Erika Cook and Brown followed with 3s for a 71-66 lead with 2 1/2 minutes left.

Two free throws each by Cook and Bryant in the final 31 seconds salted the victory.

ENMU trailed during much of a tight first half, but took the lead on a basket by Brown with 41 seconds to go.

“We just didn’t have a whole lot of energy early, but we got ourselves back in it by playing better defense,” acting ENMU women’s coach Dustin Klafka said. “We got some good looks in the first half — we must have missed 10 points worth of layups.”

Steals by Doss, Bryant and Brown early in the second half got the Zias going, Klafka said.

“That kind of gave us some life,” he said. “When Tia got us going on a run, the bench kind of got into it.

“I told the kids after the game that everybody contributed to this win.”

Forward Kaipresha Price scored 18 points for Kingsville, shooting 6-of-9 overall and 4-of-5 on 3-pointers. The Javs also got double-figure scoring from center Aasia Betts (13) and reserve LaTasha Davis (11).