Hounds stay hot at home

Tristan Largent throws up a runner as Southeastern Oklahoma State’s Jason Stampley prepares to take a charge in the first half of Saturday’s Lone Star Conference crossover game at Greyhound Arena. (Freedom Newspapers: Kevin Wilson)

By Jesse Wolfersberger: CNJ staff writer

PORTALES — With less than 10 seconds remaining in Eastern New Mexico’s 83-65 win over Southeastern Oklahoma State on Saturday, Greyhounds Tristan Largent and Ira Cross punctuated the Hounds’ second-straight decisive victory by combining for an ally-oop dunk.

“It was an exclamation point to the game,” Largent said. “That fell good. We’d been talking about that, he’s been wanting one of those for a while. It was long due.”

The assist was Largent’s 11th of the game. He also finished with 11 points.

The Hounds have scored 98 and 83 points in the past two games after failing to crack 70 in their previous 10.

“This is definitely a turnaround,” Largent said. “Over this last week, we’ve been doing a lot of shooting. We’ve been coming in the gym twice a day, working individually on our shots and it’s starting to pay off a lot.”

Senior Jolen Montoya lead the Hounds with 18 points, including 4-of-8 from 3-point range. As a team, the Hounds (6-9) shot 13-of-22 from beyond the arc.

Southeastern Oklahoma State coach Tony Robinson said his team deserved to lose.

“I thought we got whipped,” Robinson said. “We got outplayed and outhustled.”

ENMU coach Shawn Scanlan is happy with his team’s turnaround.

“We’ve struggled for the better part of the whole season and it’s been difficult,” Scanlan said. “In these two games, it seems like we’ve responded a little bit and we’re beginning to understand more and more what we have to do to be a good basketball team.”

Scanlan said the Hounds’ defense has improved just as much as their offense.

“We allowed 20 second-half points on Thursday and tonight we allowed 24 second-half points,” he said. “Our defense is giving our offense a chance.”

The ENMU coach said he hopes his team can continue playing like they did this week.

“What I’ve tried to tell them is, ‘I hope you’re seeing what you can do,’” Scanlan said. “We didn’t show ourselves, previous to this week, that we could be this kind of team. And this week we’ve showed that we can be.”

Junior guard Stephen Wilson added 15 points for Eastern and junior forward Mikal Monette contributed 11 points and a team-high eight rebounds.

Junior guard Jason Stampley the Savages (8-6) with 21 points.

“I thought he did a good job in the second half on Stampley,” Scanlan said. “Every time Stampley looked to score, he had Jolen in his face in the second half.”

Stampley was 5-of-10 from the floor in the first half and 2-of-8 in the second.