PORTALES — Eastern New Mexico University’s men took another hit in their bid for a Lone Star Conference postseason tournament berth Saturday night.
Texas A&M-Kingsville, which beat the Greyhounds in the closing seconds last week on its home court, rallied from a 15-point deficit to notch a 78-76 South Division win Saturday night at Greyhound Arena.
Senior guard Eddie Lopez hit his fifth 3-pointer of the game in six attempts with nine seconds left, erasing a two-point ENMU lead. After a turnover by the Hounds, Kingsville’s Reggie Love added a free throw with five seconds to go for the final margin.
Senior forward Kia Griffin came off the bench to score 18 points for Kingsville (16-7, 3-5 South), while Lopez and guard Ricky Huckaby added 15 each and senior forward Bobby Pandy scored 12.
Senior Remi Yusuf, who burned the Hounds for 31 points in the 85-84 win at Kingsville, was held in check this time. He scored only five points on 2-of-8 shooting.
ENMU (9-13, 3-5 South), now locked in a three-way tie for fourth with the Javs and Angelo State, got a season-high 22 points and six assists from junior guard Justin Redman-Trotter, while Mikal Monette added 18 points and eight rebounds and Ira Cross scored 11 points.
Senior guard Tristan Largent, the team’s leading scorer, did not play in the contest. No explanation was available immediately after the game.
The lead changed hands for much of the first half before a 3-pointer by Redman-Trotter kicked off a 14-0 run that put the Hounds in front 30-20 with less than five minutes left in the half. Redman-Trotter had nine points in the surge, including the first seven.
Redman-Trotter hit another 3 — he went 4-for-6 for the game from long range — to extend the margin to 41-30 two minutes into the second half. A basket by Cross, Redman-Trotter’s 3-pointer and a dunk by Rece Hampton off a Redman-Trotter assist made it 60-45 with just over 10 minutes remaining.
Kingsville then held the Hounds without a field goal for nearly seven minutes, going on a 16-1 surge to tie the score 61-61 with 6:24 left.
The lead seesawed, with Stephen Wilson’s two free throws putting ENMU up 67-66 before Huckaby’s 3-pointer gave the Javs a two-point margin with 3:40 to go.
Monette’s basket with 2:07 left — ENMU’s last field goal — put the Hounds up 73-71. Redman-Trotter then answered a 3-pointer by Love with two free throws, and Earl Fortenberry made 1-of-2 from the line with 22 seconds left to set the stage for Lopez.