Forget the Ipad, or the Galaxy SIII cell phone, or those fancy earrings; for the members of the Cameron University women's basketball team, their perfect Christmas gift was CU's first Lone Star Conference victory and it took some tough defense and good free throw shooting to earn that prize, a 55-50 victory over Eastern New Mexico University Wednesday night in the Aggie Gym..
A good crowd estimated at around 600 fans saw the Aggies struggle offensively for most of the game until they somehow managed to get a few shots to drop and take the lead in the late going. After that it was the Zias who couldn't hit the bucket and when they had to resort to fouls, the Aggies drilled 11 of 12 free throws in the second half to seal the win.
"We told the girls in the locker room that the first conference win is always special; it always seems to get you going and we hope that is the case," head coach Tom Webb said. "I thought we played well defensively at times, plus we rebounded well. Lacy (Reinke) and Ali (Brown) both had eight rebounds and when we get that from those two it really helps. Lacy also scored 10 points and she didn't miss a shot from the field. Ali had three assists and no turnovers, so those are the little steps you like to see individual players making to help the team."
Still the shooting was an issue again. The Aggies hit just 30.4 percent from the field in the first half and warmed just slightly to 37 percent in the second half, which balanced out at 34-percent shooting for the game. They only hit 5-of-25 3-point tries, but the Zias were not much of threat outside either, hitting just 3 of 9 from long range.
Those shooting woes kept Cameron playing chase until Alexis Williams hit a trey on a nicely-executed offensive set to arrange a 43-42 Aggie lead with 4:40 left in the game.
The next three minutes were not very pretty with three Aggie misses from the field and a couple of ENMU errant shots. Finally, with just 58 seconds remaining CU point guard Brittany Harris launched a long bomb that found the mark and built the lead to four, 46-42.
ENMU missed a three at the other end, and then came the quick fouls as ENMU head coach Lindsay Wilson, daughter of five-time state champion coach and current Sterling girls skipper Rick Wilson, was forced to use that tactic to try and stop the clock and hope the Aggies would miss.