WICHITA FALLS, Texas — If Eastern New Mexico University men’s coach Shawn Scanlan was wondering how his team would react in a bad situation, he found out Thursday night.
The Greyhounds twice erased major deficits in turning back Midwestern State 86-81 to retain the early lead in the Lone Star Conference men’s race and snap the Mustangs’ nine-game winning streak.
Senior guard Tristan Largent scored a career-best 27 points and senior guard Stephen Wilson hit four consecutive free throws in the final 14 seconds as the Hounds (9-8, 3-0 South) posted their fourth win in a row — including three on the road.
“There’s lots of ways a team can react when you start off like we did,” Scanlan said. “During a media timeout, I told them, ‘There’s no such thing as a 15-point play.’”
ENMU rallied for a 37-34 lead on Justin Redman-Trotter’s 3-point basket with just over three minutes left in the half, but the Mustangs (12-4, 1-1) scored the final 12 points of the period and opened an 11-point margin with about 15 1/2 minutes left.
The Hounds put together a 10-0 run, capped by Largent’s 3-pointer, for a 65-62 lead with 9:19 to go. They eventually led by eight, saw the Mustangs rally back for a 76-75 lead on two free throws by 6-foot-9 senior Eric Dawson with 3:46 left, and then held Midwestern to one field goal the rest of the way.
Largent’s two free throws with 1:05 to go put the Hounds in front for good 82-80, and Wilson made it a four-point game with the first two of his free throws. After Midwestern’s Chad Rickett hit 1-of-2 charity shots, Wilson iced the game with two more from the line.
“They had a great atmosphere,” Scanlan said of the boisterous crowd of 2,401. “To come out and respond the way we did, I thought the guys showed a lot of character.”
Redman-Trotter finished with 14 points and team highs of six rebounds and four assists, while Wilson added 12 points. ENMU converted 23-of-28 foul shots and posted a 34-27 advantage on the boards in spite of Dawson, who ended with 20 points and 11 rebounds.
Rickett finished with 25 points for the Mustangs, while Chris Davis added 18 and Drew Coffman 12.