By Greg Price: CNJ sports writer
PORTALES — No matter how much talent a team has, sometimes a lack of size can counter its abilities.
Eastern New Mexico University’s men kept the pressure on all night on Saturday, but Washburn’s size was too much for the Greyhounds as the Ichabods won 63-55 in the third-place game of the Harry Miller/ENMU Shootout at the Greyhound Arena.
Washburn junior forward Kyle Snyder scored 12 points and added team-highs of 17 rebounds and four assists. Senior forward Frank Phifer led all scorers with 17 points for the Ichabods (2-1), and also grabbed six rebounds.
ENMU senior guard Tristan Largent scored 16 points and junior guard Justin Redman-Trotter had 14 for the Hounds, including three 3-pointers for each player.
The Hounds were 7-of-19 for the game from 3-point range.
The Ichabods dominated the Hounds 48-24 on the boards, including a 17-1 margin in offensive rebounds.
The Ichabods led by 14 points with 14:41 left in the game, but Largent and Redman-Trotter kept ENMU in it with clutch 3-pointers and solid passing.
With 12:25 left, Largent hit a 3 to cut Washburn’s lead to 42-35.
On the Hounds’ next possession, Redman-Trotter grabbed a rebound and ran the fast break, making a quick assist to junior guard Dwight Collins for a lefty lay-up over the 6-foot-9 Phifer.
Despite Largent and Redman-Trotter’s efforts, the Ichabods answered every big Hounds’ play with a strong inside score.
After Collins’ lay-up, Phifer responded with a baby hook in the lane.
ENMU managed to cut the margin to 44-40 on a 3-pointer by Collins with 10:40 remaining, but Washburn countered with a layup and junior guard Sergio Negrin’s 3-pointer.
The Hounds started fast, hitting five of their first nine shots for a 12-11 lead midway through the half. At the same time, Washburn shot just 3-of-14 from the field.
Even with the Ichabods’ obvious height advantage, the Hounds held Washburn to 37 percent shooting for the game, including 2-of-16 from beyond the arc.
Fort Hays State 62, Western State 57 — In the championship game, Fort Hays (3-0) turned back the Mountaineers behind 17 points and nine rebounds from senior forward Jeff Pruitt.
Freshman guard Josh Kollasch scored 13 points for Western State (1-1), while junior guard Carleton Goggins added 12.
Jeff Pruitt, Sr. F, Fort Hays State (MVP)
kevin Wagstaff, Sr. G, Fort Hays State
Frank Phifer, Sr. F, Washburn
Tristan Largent, Sr. G, ENMU
Carleton Goggins, Jr. G, Western State
Josh Anfang, Jr. F, Western State