The WTAMU Buffs basketball team played host to their biggest rivals, the Eastern New Mexico Greyhounds, on Jan. 26 at the First United Bank Center in Canyon, Texas. Poor shooting doomed the Buffs, even despite a halftime lead, in a 71-57 loss.
The Greyhounds started the game by building a 13-16 lead over WT with 11:13 to play before the half. Several fouls and turnovers by ENMU led to a 16-8 Buffs run that gave WT a 29-24 lead going into the locker room.
Redshirt senior Mason White led the Buffs’ offense with nine points in the first half. Senior Donald Sims went into the break with eight points for WT. The Buffs were 12 of 27 from the field for 44 percent in the first half.
“We have to shoot the basketball pretty well and that just didn’t happen tonight,” Head Coach Rick Cooper said.
Ineffective shooting helped the Greyhounds make the second half one long run. ENMU outscored WT 25-14 in the first 11 minutes of the second half to take a 43-49 lead with 9:09 remaining in the game. Things wouldn’t get any better for the
Buffs as the Greyhounds would outscore them 47-28 total in the second half, with WT shooting 12 for 33 for 36 percent, two for 11 for 18 percent from three-point land and two of five for 40 percent from the line in the half.
“They just beat us. They had a better game plan and were better coached,” said Cooper.
Sims led the Buffs’ offense with 16 points and 11 rebounds, while White finished with 14 points and sophomore Tez Dumars ended the night with nine points. WT totaled 24 for 60 for 40 percent from the floor, three of 18 for 17 percent from beyond the arch and six of 13 for 46 percent from the free throw line.
The Buffs are now 12-6 overall and have a 4-6 mark in the Lone Star Conference. This was also the fourth-straight year WT and ENMU split the regular season series. The Buffs return to action on Jan. 29 when they travel to Abilene to take on the Abilene Christian Wildcats, who WT lost to 58-59 in Canyon earlier this season. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.