Devin Griffin, West Texas A&M's leading scorer this season, had a relatively quiet game Wednesday night until late.
With West Texas A&M's women clinging to a small lead, Griffin took over, scoring 12 of her game-high 23 points in the final eight minutes to lift the Lady Buffaloes to a 62-51 in Lone Star Conference win over Eastern New Mexico University at Greyhound Arena.
ENMU junior Phil Henry puts up two points in the second half of the Greyhounds game against the WTAMU Buffalos Wednesday night at Greyhound Arena.
Junior forward Chontiquah White and junior guard Casey Land added 15 points each for the Lady Buffs (10-9, 6-4 LSC), who won their fourth in a row and eighth in the last 10 games. White added 15 rebounds.
"We need her to do that," WT coach Krista Gerlich said. "We need her to be our go-to player every game."
The Zias (3-15, 2-8) made it tough on the Lady Zias for most of the night. Freshman guard Ashlee Pierson of Clovis finished with a season-best 20 points to go with nine rebounds and four steals before leaving with an apparent ankle injury in the closing moments. Texico freshman Jaylyn Cooper added 11 points and senior guard Tara Johnson of Portales scored 10.
For the Zias, it was another solid effort at home against a good opponent, but they couldn't overcome 34 percent (21-of-61) field goal shooting.
"We've just got to finish shots in the paint," ENMU coach Lindsey Wilson said. "We just have to play harder than everybody we play for us to win games, and we haven't been able to do that."
The Zias had several early leads, then fell behind by 10 points late in the half before mounting a 7-0 run to start the second half and pull within a point.
They had several chances to overhaul the Lady Buffs early in the second half but couldn't convert. With WT leading 42-37, Griffin hit two free throws with 7:52 left out of a media timeout and she took over from there.
It was a bit frustrating to Wilson.
"We've been finishing in the paint better than this," she said. "Shots that we should be making, we missed."
The Lady Buffs were coming off a 70-60 win at LSC-leading Tarleton State on Saturday, getting them back to the fringes of the conference race.
"Coming off that win, I knew it was going to be tough," Gerlich said. "I credit Eastern New Mexico and Lindsey for playing as hard as they did. It's hard to lose games and keep playing that hard."
WT shot 38 percent from the game, but converted 19-of-26 free throws, including 14-of-18 in the second half. ENMU, conversely, went 5-for-11 from the line.