East Central beats cold-shooting Zias

Freedom New Mexico

ADA, OKLA. — The Zias started and finished strong. In between, it was all East Central.

Sophomore Regan Browne scored 24 points off the bench and the Lady Tigers beat Eastern New Mexico University 72-64 Thursday in a Lone Star Conference women’s crossover game.

Clovis’ Vanessa O’Neal scored a career-high 18 points and grabbed six rebounds and Kara Bible added 11 points and six rebounds for the Zias (2-9), who played without leading scorer Precious Herrin. The ENMU sports information office said Herrin was with the team, but did not play due to a coach’s decision.

Trailing 19-8, East Central (6-6) closed the first half with a 26-10 surge for a 34-29 halftime lead. The Lady Tigers picked up where they left off to start the second half, going on a 21-9 run in the first nine minutes of the second half for a 55-38 advantage.

After ENMU climbed within 63-59 on a pair of Bible free throws with 2:24 to go, Browne answered with her fifth 3-pointer of the game. The Zias, who shot poorly from the field all game, could get no closer in losing their fifth straight.

Browne came into the came averaging seven points a game.

The Zias were 18-of-72 (25 percent) from the field, including 7-of-36 from 3-point range. East Central shot 43 percent (23-of-53) from the field.