Zias close out Cowgirls

LAS VEGAS, N.M. — The Eastern New Mexico University Zias scored the last 10 points of the game to beat New Mexico Highlands 85-76 Thursday in a non-conference game.

Cat Clay led a huge effort off the bench with a team-high 15 points as the Zias (4-6) won their third straight game.

Ashley Logan led Highlands (5-3) with 22 points.

The Zias have beaten the Cowgirls in eight of the last nine meetings and earned a split of this year’s home and home series.

A pair of Clay free throws with 1:49 remaining gave the Zias the lead for good at 77-76.

The Zias got 55 points from its bench, including 13 from sophomore Kassie Daugherty and 10 from Krista Ford.

The second half would feature five ties and 10 lead changes.

Highlands took their final lead of the contest after a 4-0 run, when Ashley Logan’s jumper gave them a 76-75 lead with 2:34 to go. Clay hit a pair of free throws 45 seconds later to spark a 10-0 Zia run to close the game.

Eastern opened the game strong, scoring the first basket on a Til-Lois Fifer jumper on the way to a 12-2 lead. The Cowgirls fired right back, taking a 13-12 lead after an 11-0 run. After four lead changes, the Cowgirls took a 41-37 edge into the locker room.

Eastern shot 47 percent from the field, including 7-of-16 from 3-point range. Highlands struggled from behind the arc, hitting 3-of-23 shots.

The Zias return to Greyhound Arena on Saturday, when they host Texas A&M-Commerce in a Lone Star Conference crossover game.

Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m.