Bronchos blow out Zias early

CNJ staff

EDMOND, Okla. — Central Oklahoma took advantage of a frigid start by Eastern New Mexico University Thursday night, and the Bronchos coasted to an 87-75 Lone Star Conference women’s crossover victory over the Zias.

UCO (9-3) won its fifth in a row overall and its ninth consecutive home game. The Bronchos opened an 18-0 lead in the first 6 1/2 minutes as ENMU (5-9) committed seven turnovers and went 0-for-6 from the field, including 0-for-4 from 3-point range.

Central Oklahoma led by as much as 23 points late in the half and again with 10 minutes left before the Zias warmed up a bit down the stretch. ENMU pulled to within 10 points twice in the final three minutes, but could get no closer.

Senior guard Cristina Yarbrough went 4-for-7 from beyond the arc and finished with 18 points and six assists for the Bronchos. Junior forward Ashley Beckley added 14 points and six rebounds, reserves Savannah Hamilton and Alyssa Fuxa each contributed 12 points and junior guard Jordan Stark chipped in 10 points.

For the Zias, junior forward Cat Clay had four 3-pointers and finished with 18 points and seven rebounds, junior guard Lace Clark came off the bench for three 3-pointers and 17 points, senior forward Til-Lois Fifer added 11 points and a game-high nine rebounds and junior guard Tori Northcutt scored 10 points. The Zias shot 44 percent from the field, including 8-of-23 from 3-point range, and hit 21-of-28 from the foul line, but they could not overcome 29 turnovers — nearly twice as many as UCO (16).

Senior guard Rose Anderson hit a 3-pointer only nine seconds into the contest and the Bronchos quickly took off. They got another 3-pointer from Yarbrough to make it 12-0, and a basket by Fuxa capped the run with 13:39 left in the half.

Clark finally ended the ENMU dry spell with a 3-pointer on the next trip downcourt, but the Zias weren’t able to make much of a dent the rest of the half. The Bronchos led 41-18 and 43-20 before Hamilton’s basket with 44 seconds left made it 47-28 at the intermission.