Savage Storm blows past Zias

Freedom New Mexico: Liliana Castillo Eastern center Kassie Daugherty goes up to the basket guarded by Southeastern Oklahoma State guard Whitney Coffey.

PORTALES — Southeastern Oklahoma hit four 3-pointers in the first 3 minutes, 15 seconds en route to a 14-0 lead Thursday night, and the unbeaten Savage Storm never looked back in an 87-66 women’s Lone Star Conference victory over Eastern New Mexico University at Greyhound Arena.

The youthful Savage Storm — with seven sophomores and three freshman on their 14-player roster — hit 9-of-17 from 3-point range in the first half and finished the game 12-for-27 in improving to 6-0 for the season.

Sophomore guard Nikki Hester hit two of the 3-pointers in the Savage Storm’s early run, which ended when sophomore guard Alex Ortiz put the Zias (1-5) on the board with a 3-pointer at the 16:14 mark.

Guard Kacey Russell, the only senior on the squad, led four Savage Storm players in double figures with 16 points, including 4-of-7 from long distance. Southeastern, which had three other players finish with nine points, shot 51 percent overall for the game and converted 17-of-21 foul shots.

ENMU, coming off its first win of the season on Saturday over Colorado State-Pueblo, battled back from their early deficit to within 27-20 with just under eight minutes left in the half. But the Savage Storm outscored the Zias 22-5 the rest of the half, hitting four more 3s during that stretch, for a 24-point cushion at the break.

Southeastern led by as much as 29 points early in the second half, and never let the Zias get closer than 18 the rest of the way.

The Savage Storm got 42 points from their bench, including 11 from freshman guard Bailey Welch and 10 from sophomore guard-forward Whitney Coffey, who also had a game-high eight rebounds.

Sophomore forward-center Kassie Daugherty was the Zias’ lone double-figure scorer with 10 points, and she also had a team-high six rebounds.