No. 9 Texans outlast Hounds

CNJ correspondent: Joshua Lucero ENMU’s Curtis Wilkinson goes to the basket against Tarleton State’s Fabian Wilson during Wednesday night’s Lone Star Conference men’s game at Greyhound Arena.

CNJ staff report

PORTALES — Senior guard Chris Harrell scored 21 points, hitting 5-of-7 from 3-point range, and Tarleton State held on late for a 55-52 Lone Star Conference men’s basketball victory over Eastern New Mexico University on Wednesday night at Greyhound Arena.

The Texans (12-1, 4-0 LSC) won their ninth in a row, but it didn’t come easily after the Greyhounds rallied from a 27-8 deficit with six minutes left in the first half. They went on a 23-4 run, pulling even at 31-31 on a layup by junior guard Devone Davis with 14 1/2 minutes to go, but never could take the lead.

Senior guard Reggie Nelson, who led ENMU (9-5, 2-3) with 17 points, hit a 3-pointer with 32 seconds left to pull the Hounds to 53-52. After two free throws by Tarleton guard Shedrick Haynes with two seconds to go, a desperation 3-pointer at the buzzer by ENMU sophomore Kyle Lantz was off the mark.

Harrell’s performance led an 8-for-17 showing from 3-point range by the Texans, ranked ninth in NCAA Division II. Meantime, the Hounds struggled, going 5-for-23 from the field in the opening half, including 0-of-9 from 3-point range, in trailing 29-17 at the break.

Senior forward Curtis Wilkinson added 12 points for the Hounds, while Haynes finished with 12 for Tarleton.

After Davis’ tying layup, the Texans appeared to retake control with a 17-5 run capped by Brian Word’s layup for a 48-36 lead with 8:58 remaining. The Texans then went nearly six minutes without scoring, but the Hounds were only able to shave six points off their deficit.

Nelson’s two free throws made it 53-49 with 1:25 left, then Davis stole the ball from Harrell and Nelson’s 3-pointer pulled the Hounds to within a point.

ENMU finished the game 3-for-19 from 3-point distance.