Freedom New Mexico
KINGSVILLE, Texas — Junior guard Stefan Mirabal had four 3-pointers and finished with 20 points Wednesday night and Eastern New Mexico University’s men closed in on a Lone Star Conference tournament berth with an 86-77 LSC South victory over Texas A&M-Kingsville.
The Greyhounds (13-12, 8-5 South) remained in a three-way tie for second place with West Texas A&M and Midwestern State, and host WT in Saturday’s 8 p.m. regular-season finale at Greyhound Arena.
The Buffaloes defeated Incarnate Word 81-71 while Midwestern State thumped Angelo State 83-59 on Wednesday, knocking the Rams (11-14, 7-6) into fifth place in the South. The only way the Hounds won’t earn one of the division’s four spots in next week’s tournament is if they lose to WT and Angelo beats division champion Tarleton State at home on Saturday.
Senior forward Tyler Jefferson and junior forward Aaron Edwards each added 18 points for the Hounds. Jefferson went 6-for-6 from both the field and the free throw line before fouling out late and also had a team-high nine rebounds, while Edwards shot 3-for-3 from 3-point range and added eight boards.
Kingsville got 23 points from guard Adam Morris, who went 5-for-10 from 3-point range to lead five Javelinas in double figures. Guard Marcus Ford added 16 points, while forward Ryan Wallace had 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Ford hit a pair of 3-pointers to give Kingsville (8-17, 4-9) a 6-0 lead just over three minutes into the game, but the Hounds countered with a 10-2 run. The Javs took a pair of short-lived leads later in the half, but Mirabal’s 3-pointer with 6:13 to go broke a 26-26 tie and gave the Hounds the lead for good.
They finished the half on a 17-6 run and led 43-32 at the break.
Jefferson scored a layup and assisted on a 3-pointer by Mirabal to make it a 16-point game early in the second half, and another 3-pointer by Mirabal made it 53-35 with 16:09 to go.
Morris capped a 12-2 surge with a 3-pointer that chopped the Javs’ deficit to 56-49 with 10:36 to go, but they couldn’t get any closer until Phillip Belford’s 3-pointer made it 80-74 with 1:14 left.
Two free throws by Kingsville guard Antwan Mullins cut it to 81-76 with a minute remaining, but the Hounds salted it away with five free throws in the remaining time.