One solid streak in each half was the elixir Cameron University needed to fight past Eastern New Mexico for a 66-56 Lone Star Conference men's basketball victory Wednesday in the Aggie Gym.
Wade Alexander's Aggies used an 8-0 run in the first half and a 15-3 spree in the second as the catalyst to their first league win. CU is now 1-4 in the LSC and 4-4 overall.
Tim Johnson paced Cameron with 15 points while point guard Craig Foster added 12 points and nine assists. Trevor Smith came off the bench to capture seven rebounds and lead CU to a 32-28 edge.
The loss was Eastern's first in the LSC; the Greyhounds are 2-1 and 5-4.
Rodney Blackmon, the No. 2 scorer in the league, worked through persistent hounding by Foster to score 15 points for the 'Hounds. Lawrence Domingo came off the bench to match that number, thanks to some solid inside work. The 6-4 freshman also led all rebounders with eight.
The Aggies will participate in the Las Vegas Classic this weekend, meeting Florida Tech Saturday afternoon and Rollins College at noon Sunday. They return to Lone Star Conference action on Jan. 2 when Angelo State visits the CU gym.
Alexander pointed to turnovers as a major contributor.
"The difference in tonight's game and the others was we had nine turnovers," he said. "At West Texas, we had 24. If we have 15 less turnovers there, I think we win."
There were five lead exchanges in the first half. Cameron tried to take control with the 8-0 run that turned an 18-17 deficit into a 25-18 lead, but the Ags scored just one point in the final four minutes and settled for a 26-25 edge at the break.
Jonathan Patino started the run with a driving layup and ended it in similar fashion. Foster added a driving layup and Johnson brought the crowd to life with a dunk on a fast break.