Hounds’ upset bid falls short

CNJ staff

ABILENE, Texas — Playing with a short deck, the Eastern New Mexico University men’s basketball team gave 14th-ranked Abilene Christian all it wanted for most of Tuesday’s Lone Star Conference South Division clash.

But the Wildcats went on a 16-2 run, sparked by consecutive 3-pointers from senior guard Brandon Callahan, and pulled away to a 73-63 victory.

Abilene Christian (15-2, 2-0 South) extended its winning streak to 11 behind 16 points from junior forward Cameron Holson, 15 points from Callahan and 12 points and 16 rebounds from 6-foot-6 junior forward Dejan Sencanski of Serbia.

The Hounds (6-12, 0-3), playing with seven players, got 22 points from senior guard Justin Redman-Trotter and 17 points, 10 rebounds and six assists from junior guard Chad Johnson, returning to action after sitting out a one-game suspension.

Meantime, freshman guard Matt Churchman scored a season-best 12 points. Guard Marquis Ruffin added seven assists for the Hounds, who had 17 assists and only eight turnovers in the game.

ENMU led several times during the first half, but fell behind 34-31 at the break. Abilene Christian scored the first four points of the second half, but the Hounds rallied to tie the game at 50-50 and took two-point leads on baskets by Redman-Trotter and Travis Cooper with under eight minutes left before Callahan went to work.

Callahan also had a dunk during the Wildcats’ game-breaking run, which ended on a basket by Holson to make it 68-56 with three minutes left.

The Hounds hung close despite shooting 41 percent from the floor, including 10-of-35 (29 percent) in the opening half. Abilene Christian, which shoots 53 percent for the season, was over 50 percent in both halves and finished the game at 53 percent (29-of-55).