• January 21, 2020

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Falcons' late rally falls short against Greyhounds - Odessa American: Sports

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COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Falcons' late rally falls short against Greyhounds

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Posted: Saturday, January 11, 2020 8:27 pm

The matchup between the UTPB and Eastern New Mexico basketball teams turned into a game of runs.

In the end, it was the Greyhounds who had the last run in them to finish the game, even in the final moments. UTPB was not able to overcome a 16-point second half deficit as the Falcons fell to the Greyhounds 100-97 Saturday in Lone Star Conference play at the Falcon Dome.

With 6.4 seconds remaining and UTPB trailing 98-95, UTPB forward Donoven Carlisle made a jump shot that was initially ruled a 3-pointer to tie the game. Replay review, however, indicated that Carlisle’s foot was on the line to change the basket to a 2-pointer.

The Falcons fouled Eastern New Mexico guard Devin Pullum on the inbounds pass. Pullum, who led ENMU with 26 points, hit a pair of free throws to extend the lead.

UTPB guard Pat Dembley put up a half-court shot to try and tie the game, but that chance went wide. Dembley led the way for UTPB (11-7 overall, 4-5 Lone Star Conference) with 37 points in a losing effort and was one of four Falcons in double figures. Donoven Carlisle added 17 while Fermandez Jones and Isaac Hernandez had 13 and 12 points, respectively.

“Obviously, I’m disappointed and the guys are disappointed,” UTPB head coach Josh Newman said. “We lost the game in the first three minutes of the second half when they made that run after we were up in the first half. Give Eastern New Mexico a bunch of credit for that.”

Both teams had the outside shot working early as there were a combined 14 3-pointers made in the first half.

The sharpshooter in the first two minutes for Eastern New Mexico (5-8, 5-3) was Pullum, who finished with six 3-pointers made. Brandon Meadows and Jose Serrano added 16 and 13 points, respectively, off the bench for the Greyhounds, while Isaiah Murphy had 14.

Jones found the early rhythm for UTPB as the Falcons built an 18-14 lead six minutes into the game.

From that point, both teams exchanged 7-0 runs as the game continued with its see-saw nature. Late in the half, it appeared that UTPB would start to pull away as the Falcons pushed the lead to 44-33 with 5:06 remaining in the half.

A late 16-5 run sparked the Greyhounds to end the half as Pullum capped it off with his fourth 3-pointer of the first half just before the final buzzer.

Eastern New Mexico picked up right where it left off after halftime, starting the second half on a 17-1 run within the first four minutes of the half.

Pullum and Murphy each made two 3-pointers during that run to push the Greyhounds lead.

“We just seemed like we weren’t ready to compete coming out of halftime,” Newman said. “I think that shot that (Pullum) made at the half took the air out of the team a little bit.

Regardless, we were tied at halftime and didn’t come out with the same energy and effort that we needed to.”

Despite the large deficit, the Falcons did not go away quietly, thanks in large part to Dembley.

The senior guard and Boise State transfer scored the next six points to stop the slide and to start trimming into the deficit.

The Greyhounds worked to keep the Falcons at bay and used the outside shot to keep the lead.

But some hot shooting midway through the second half helped UTPB chip away and regained the lead at 86-85 thanks to a three-point play from Malik Anderson.

Down the stretch, however, the Greyhounds got some timely baskets and some key makes at the free throw line as Eastern New Mexico finished 22 of 26 for the game.

Every point was needed after Dembley cut the deficit to 96-95 with 38.5 seconds remaining. Eastern New Mexico answered with a layup from Yosnier Cobas to make it 98-95 and set up the frantic sequence at the end.

“Our guys fought back but Eastern New Mexico made a lot of big shots when they needed to,” Newman said. “We just have to find a way to be better and we have to rebound and defend the dribble better moving forward.”

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