ADA, Okla. — Eastern New Mexico University’s men led virtually all the way in a win Thursday night, but they had a few anxious moments.
Junior guard Stefan Mirabal matched a season-high with 20 points, including 4-of-5 from 3-point range, leading five players in double figures as the Greyhounds held on late to beat East Central 85-75 in a Lone Star Conference crossover game.
Senior guards Victor Reid and Tralyn Harden added 15 and 12 points, respectively, both one short of season highs. Senior forward Tyler Jefferson scored 12 points, while junior forward Max Carrier had 10 points and a game-high nine rebounds.
The Hounds went 10-of-17 from 3-point range and converted 21-of-28 from the free throw line.
ENMU (4-7), which snapped a five-game losing streak, trailed only briefly 18-17 before taking the lead for good on a 3-pointer by Harden with 8:40 left in the half.
Leading 37-28 at halftime, the Hounds opened the second half with a 15-2 blitz in less than five minutes, and eventually extended the margin to 24 points twice, the latter at 63-39 on a layup by Mirabal with 10:36 to go.
At that point, the Tigers (7-7) mounted a steady charge.
ECU went on a 14-3 surge and pulled to 73-63 on a layup by junior guard Caprest Rhone with 4:15 left. Baskets by junior center Denarius Darby and Rhone made it 78-73 with 1:41 left.
Reid then launched a 3-pointer to restore an eight-point margin with 1:11 to go and the Tigers didn’t get closer than six after that.
Darby led the Tigers with 15 points, while junior forward Darnell Davis added 11 and reserve Eric Avant chipped in 10. ECU lost for only the second time in seven home games.
The Hounds complete their weekend trip with a 1 p.m. (MST) crossover on Saturday at Southeastern Oklahoma.