PORTALES, N.M. (November 27, 2010) – Eastern New Mexico nailed 12 three-pointers and stole the spotlight away from a 26-point performance from Lubbock Christian University's Matt Read, as ENMU handed the Chaparrals their first loss of the season with a 75-72 win Saturday afternoon at Greyhound Arena.
The first half contained seven lead changes, but ENMU mostly controlled the first half with solid outside shooting. The Greyhounds hit eight three-point field goals in the opening half, with four coming in the opening seven minutes to jump out to an 18-7 advantage. The Chaps responded with a 13-0 run over the following 3:42 to take a 20-18 lead with 8:47 remaining in the half. Douglas Williams sparked the run with seven points during the run.
Three-point shooting by ENMU helped them regain the lead as they hit their next three shot attempts beyond the arc. ENMU was sitting 7-of-11 from three-point range with 6:45 left in the half. The Chaps trailed 38-32 with 4:06 left in the half before going on a 9-2 run, which was capped by a three-pointer from Williams as part of his 13-point half. ENMU's Stefan Mirabal answered with a three-pointer and the 'Hounds closed out the final minute on a 7-2 run to take a 41-38 lead into the break. Read had 12 points for LCU in the opening half, helping LCU to an 18-6 scoring advantage in the paint. Mirabal connected on three treys in the opening half on five attempts. Williams hit all three long distance field goals in the half for LCU, with the rest of the team going 0-of-5 from long range.
The outside scoring trend continued into the start of the second half for ENMU. Kyle Lantz hit a three for ENMU, and they opened the half on a 5-0 run in the opening minute to force the Chaps into an early timeout. Read ended the run with a three-pointer for the Chaps. LCU had trouble getting their offense going in the half, as the Chaps had just one field goal in the opening four minutes (on three shot attempts) and committed a trio of turnovers. After just six combined turnovers in the opening half, the two teams combined for 10 in the opening eight minutes of the second half. LCU held the Greyhounds scoreless for a span of 3:19 and used a baseline lay-up from Anthony Brancato and a three-pointer from Tyler Kennedy to cut the ENMU lead to 50-48 with 12:29 remaining. ENMU made little notice of the dry spell with Tralyn Harden nailing a three-pointer to start a 5-0 run for a 55-48 lead with 11:20 remaining. Kenny Hewitt missed his first six shot attempts, but then warmed up to a pair of buckets and five points over a span of 1:44 to place the Chaps deficit at 61:58 with 9:25 left. The game was scoreless over the next 2:15 until Aaron Edwards took advantage of a Chaps turnover with a dunk and a 63-58 lead. Read and Clay Roberts helped combine for a 9-3 LCU run and Roberts' three-pointer with five minutes remaining put the Chaps on top 67-66. LCU went the next 4:18 without a field goal and Tyler Johnson scored six of the final nine ENMU points to help the 'Hounds close out the game with the win. LCU had a chance to tie the game in the final minute, but Read's three-point attempt from the point was no good.
LCU, playing without the services of Al Duvall and Russ Permenter, shot under 50% for the first time this season, going 25/57 (43.9%) from the field. ENMU was 12-of-26 (46.2%) from long distance and they received four three-pointers from Mirabal, who led all scorers with 18 points in the games. LCU also received 16 points from Williams. ENMU improved to 3-2 overall and 2-0 at home, while LCU fell to 5-1 and start off their road schedule winless away from the Rip Griffin Center.
The Chaparrals return to Sooner Athletic Conference play Monday night at 8 p.m. with a trip up to Plainview, Texas to face Wayland Baptist University. Monday's contest will mark the second game of a four-game road trip, which has the Chaps in Oklahoma Thursday and Saturday to complete the swing of four games in a seven day span.