By Dave Wagner: CNJ staff writer
Eastern New Mexico University men’s basketball coach Shawn Scanlan is hoping to have closer to a full roster this weekend.
The Greyhounds, with only eight players in uniform, upended Lubbock Christian 68-67 on Monday night at Greyhound Arena and return to Lone Star Conference crossover play at 4 p.m. today at home against Cameron. Women’s teams play at 2 p.m.
ENMU squads host Southwestern Oklahoma on Monday night.
The Hounds (3-9) were without junior center Donovan Schultz (concussion), senior forward Jamaal Hadley (sprained ankle), junior guard Kelvin Franklin (knee injury) and junior forward Gerald Brown (team suspension) against the Chaparrals. Meantime, sophomore center Tommy York played Monday, but has been under the weather this week and hasn’t practiced since.
Scanlan said Schultz has been cleared to play, and is hoping to have York and Brown available as well.
The Hounds hope to build off the somewhat surprising win over LCU.
“I don’t know if I was surprised,” Scanlan said. “I’ve always thought we were capable, but Monday was the first time we’ve come out with a sense of purpose.”
Scanlan said the Hounds made plays to build a double-figure lead through the middle of the second half. Junior Equs Darby had 18 points and 12 rebounds for ENMU, while junior Justin Reynolds also scored 18 points.
“We forced some turnovers that led to baskets,” Scanlan said. “The first 20 minutes, I thought we defended the best we have all year long.”
Meantime, the ENMU women (8-6) are looking to build on a strong performance in the St. Mary’s New Year’s Classic. They played the host Rattlers (12-2) tough the first night before losing 65-52, then whacked Texas A&M-International 89-75 behind a career-best 28 points from sophomore Cat Clay.
Zias coach Linden Weese said his team will have its hands full in both games.
“(Cameron has) the best team they’ve had for some time,” he said. “They’ve always had good players, but that hasn’t always worked out well.”
Southwestern Oklahoma, meantime, brings a deceptive 3-6 record into its game today at West Texas A&M.
“They’ve got a good group back (from last year),” Weese said. “I think they’re among the better teams in the Lone Star right now.”
Despite losing four players to fouls and committing 28 turnovers to 11 for Texas A&M-International, Weese noted the Zias dominated in other areas in posting a relatively comfortable win.
“It may have been the best two games we’ve put together since I’ve been here,” the third-year coach said.