DURANT, Okla. — Eastern New Mexico University was extremely cold at the start. Southeastern Oklahoma was just as hot.
Hitting nine of their first 10 shots, including 5-of-6 from 3-point range, the Savage Storm built a 25-4 lead over the first seven minutes and went on to beat ENMU 84-61 in a Lone Star Conference crossover game on Saturday.
While Southeastern was hitting everything in sight, the Zias (5-5) struggled to a 2-for-9 start from the floor. Although they mounted a nice comeback which closed the margin to 32-25 late in the half, it simply proved to be too big a hill to climb.
Southeastern’s Ashley Tucker hit a layup 15 seconds into the game and the Savage Storm went on to open a 10-0 margin with 3-pointers from Tucker and Ashley Hobbs.
Two free throws by Vanessa O’Neal and a layup by Celese Belizario pulled the Zias within seven, but the Savage Storm (6-3) scored the next 11 points and led by 14 at halftime.
ENMU scored the first four points of the second half, but another 10-0 blitz made it 55-35 and the margin was never under 14 the rest of the way.
Southeastern cooled off from its torrid stat,but stillshot 49 percent for the game (28-of-57), including 11-of-25 from 3-point range. Meantime, the Zias were held to 29 percent shooting and converted just 2-of-14 from 3-point range.
Tucker sat out much of the second half, but finished with 23 points for the Savage Storm, while Hobbs added 11 points off the bench. All but one of Southeastern’s 15 players contributed to the scoring column.
For ENMU, sophomore guard Tori Northcutt finished with 15 points and had four of the Zias’ nine assists.
ENMU continues its weekend road trip with a 1 p.m. crossover game against East Central today in Ada, Okla.