Defense major concern for Hounds, Zias

By Dave Wagner: CNJ staff writer

As they prepare for Lone Star Conference South Division games tonight against Texas A&M-Kingsville at Greyhound Arena, Eastern New Mexico University men’s coach Shawn Scanlan and women’s coach Dan Buzard have a similar concern.


Buzard wasn’t happy with the way the Zias played defense in their last outing, an 81-78 loss to Midwestern State on Saturday, and Scanlan was even more unhappy following the Greyhounds’ 93-81 setback Monday at West Texas A&M.

Despite Kingsville’s 4-15 record, including 0-6 in the South, Buzard said the Zias can expect to have their hands full in a battle to escape the division cellar.

“They get up and down (the court) pretty good,” he said of the Javs. “We’re going to have to do a good job of getting back in defensive transition.”

The Zias (8-12, 0-5) certainly played well enough on the offensive end against Midwestern, shooting 46 percent and hitting 6-of-11 from 3-point range. The 78 points were the most they’ve scored since posting 87, 87 and 82 in their first three games of the season.

Right now, they’re just trying to find away to get a win after losing five in a row and 11 of their last 13.
“We’re going to have to play our best to beat anybody,” Buzard said.

Last year, the Zias routed Kingsville at home in the season finale.

“They’re really quick and athletic,” Buzard said. “They’ve played everybody pretty close (in the South). We’re just going to have to find a way to slow them down a little bit.”
The Hounds, on the other hand, are still in contention for one of the South’s four berths in the LSC postseason tournament with four of their next five games at home.

Kingsville (13-6, 3-1) has been tough on ENMU lately, sweeping the Hounds (8-12, 2-3) in each of the last two seasons.

“We’ve just got to straighten out our own problems right now,” Scanlan said. “Our three (South) losses are related to poor defense.”

Scanlan noted the Hounds are playing their fourth game in eight days, but added that they simply have to push on.

“It’s the part of the schedule where, if you hope to be around in postseason, these five games are crucial,” he said. “That said, we still have to take them one at a time.

“We have to be ready to show up and compete (tonight).”

ENMU (8-12, 2-3 Lone Star Conference South) vs. Texas A&M-Kingsville (13-6, 3-1), 7:30 p.m. today at Greyhound Arena

Radio: KSEL-FM 95.3.

On the Net:

Notes: Kingsville is coming off a 60-58 win at home over last-place Angelo State on Saturday, taking the lead on a 3-pointer with just over a minute left by 6-4 junior G Remi Yusuf and then hanging on. The Javelinas’ got all their points from their starters against the Rams. … Yusuf missed the entire 2004-05 season with a knee injury, but leads the Javs in scoring (18.5 ppg). He also shoots 52 percent from the field and grabs 6.1 rebounds a game. … Other leaders are 6-6 junior F Bobby Pandy (12.3 ppg, 6.2 rpg) and 6-2 junior G Ricky Huckaby (12.3 ppg, 69 assists). … Kingsville, No. 10 in the current South Central Region rankings, leads the all-time series against ENMU 28-16 and has won the last four matchups.

ENMU (8-12, 0-5 Lone Star Conference South) vs. Texas A&M-Kingsville (4-15, 0-6), 5:30 p.m. today at Greyhound Arena
KSEL-FM 95.3.
On the Net:
Notes: This is the third of five consecutive home games for the Zias. They host Texas Woman’s on Saturday night and West Texas A&M on Monday before going on the road later next week. … The Javs are 4-5 at home this season, but 0-10 on the road. … Kingsville played tough last weekend in losing at home to South contenders Angelo State (71-67) and Abilene Christian (62-56). … The all-time series is tied 21-21, but the Zias have won the last four meetings, including 77-67 at Kingsville and 52-33 in Portales last season. … The Javs’ lone double-figure scorer is 5-9 junior F Angie Trotter (13.8 ppg).