Zias upend Rambelles

CNJ staff photo: Liliana Castillo Eastern guard Vanessa O’Neal goes up for two points guarded by Angelo State center Paige Weishuhn during the second quarter.

Clarence Plank

Angelo State has had the Eastern New Mexico University Zias’ number lately — but not Wednesday night.

Senior Vanessa O’Neal continued her recent strong offensive play with a career-high 21 points, junior Precious Herrin added 19 points and ENMU led from start to finish to beat the cold-shooting Rambelles 65-53 in a Lone Star Conference South contest at Greyhound Arena.

Senior Cat Clay added 13 points off the bench for the Zias (4-13, 2-3 LSC South), who ended an eight-game losing streak to Angelo State dating back to 2006.

Paige Weishuhn and Camille Perkins each scored with 11 points for the Rambelles (9-8, 2-3), who trailed 30-15 at halftime.

“I was proud of our kids. They put 65 points up on Angelo,” Zias coach Linden Weese said. “That’s big because they’re one of the best defensive clubs in the league. On the defensive end, we made just enough plays to hang in there to win.”

The Rambelles got within 55-48 with 2:40 left in the game on a pair of Lindsey Mahone free throws.

It was as close as Angelo State was going to get as Rambelles coach Sally Brooks drew her second technical foul arguing a foul call and was ejected from the game. Clay made the ensuing free throws to start a 13-5 Zias’ run in the final two minutes. Clay also hit a 3-pointer in spurt.

Angelo State shot 25 percent (14-of-56) from the field, including 5-of-30 from 3-point range.

“I thought we shot the ball extremely poorly tonight,” Brooks said. “It is not a complicated game.”

Rambelles sophomore Morgan Youngblood left the game early in first half after receiving a knee to the head, leaving Angelo State with just seven players available.

The Zias zipped to a 13-4 run to start the game in part to a pair O’Neal layups off Angelo State turnovers and two jumpers by Herrin. Clay hit a bucket and a 3-pointer to stretch the Zias’ lead to 19-6 lead.

Angelo State hit one of its first 10 shots and finished the half 4-of-26.

O’Neal said the Zias needed the win.

“We knew we could put together some runs and we knew if we could pressure them on defense it would work,” O’Neal said. “Coach Weese told us to set the tempo from the tip-off and that is what we tried to do.”