LUBBOCK, TX – Lubbock Christian University's starting five combined to shoot 20.6% from the field (7/34), while Eastern New Mexico University shot 58.5% (24/41) and used 16-point performances from Tralyn Harden and Equs Darby to cruise past the Chaparrals 69-54 Tuesday night at Rip Griffin Center. The loss was LCU's first of the season and drops their record to 4-1 overall.
The Greyhounds (2-1) opened the game red hot, hitting eight of their first 11 shots, including three consecutive three-pointers from Tralyn Harden for a 19-3 lead. LCU had trouble shaking off the rust from an eight day layoff. They missed their first nine field goal attempts, and didn't garner their first until Tyler Kennedy hit a three-pointer eight minutes into the contest. ENMU maintained a double-figure lead until a 12-4 LCU run placed the Chaps deficit at 27-20.
The ‘Hounds took a 39-27 lead into the locker room at the half shooting 60% (15/25), while LCU was 7/23 from the field (30.4%) in the opening half. Harden tallied nine points in the half to lead all scorers. LCU's Kenny Hewitt couldn't find his offensive stroke in the half and settled for just 1-for-9 shooting from the field. ENMU controlled the paint in the first half, out-rebounding LCU 19-10 and out-scoring them 20-2 in the paint.
LCU's offensive woes continued in the second half, as they missed their first three field goal attempts, while ENMU opened with 10-2 run for a 49-29 lead. LCU received a three-pointer from Al Duvall to jumpstart a 14-2 run to get the Chaps within eight points (43-51). Hewitt was fouled on a three-point attempt and made three free throws to cut the Greyhound lead to 56-48 with six minutes remaining. It would be as close as the Chaps would get. An intentional foul called against Taylor Wilson as he interrupted Darby streaking to the basket allowed ENMU to build a 62-48 lead with five minutes remaining.
ENMU used a 21-9 rebound advantage in the second half and out-rebounded the Chaps 40-19 in the game. The Greyhounds entered the game shooting just 25% from three-point range, but they shot 66.7% in the game from three-point range, hitting six of nine attempts. They finished with four players in double-figures offensively, as Tyler Jefferson (13) and Victor Reid (10) joined Darby and Harden. Jefferson just missed the double-double with a game-high nine rebounds.
Despite making just three of 18 shots, Hewitt led the Chaps with 12 points. Hewitt and Douglas Williams combined to make just six shots on 30 attempts (20%). LCU shot 31.4% as a team (16/51) in the game. The Chaps did receive solid shooting from Duvall, who nailed four of six shots (3-for-4 from three-point range) and produced 11 points.
LCU will enjoy the Thanksgiving break and return to the hardwood on Monday hosting Wayland Baptist University at 8 p.m. The game is one of three Sooner Athletic Conference games for the Chaps next week.