Cowboys sweep Nebraska clubs

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Cowgirls earn series split

By Dave Kavanaugh

Back on a winning streak is the New Mexico Highlands men’s basketball team following a weekend sweep of Chadron State and Nebraska-Kearney.

And the Cowgirl hoopsters aren’t feeling too badly either after a split against the Nebraska visitors.

Coach Joe Harge’s Cowboys stopped Chadron 85-75 on Friday, then cruised past UNK 86-72 on Saturday at the Wilson Complex.

Thomas Manzano lit up the scoreboard with 30 points on 10 -of-21 shooting, and he had six rebounds and two steals for NMHU (12-4 overall, 8-4 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference) against CSC.

Momcilo Latinovic (18 points, eight for 11 shooting, eight rebounds) and Chris Newsome (11 points, four assists) joined Manzano in double figures.

The Eagles held a 40-37 edge at halftime after shooting 47 percent. But the Cowboys outshot them 52 percent to 36 percent after the break.

Mindaugas Markevicius hit two three-pointers to shift control to the Cowboys as the second half began.

NMHU took the lead for good at the 8:58 mark on free throws by Manzano.

Latinovic paced Highlands the following night against the Lopers, scoring 21 and snaring seven boards.

Manzano (16 points) and Newsome (12) also scored in double digits for the ‘Pokes, who overcame their cool 39 percent field-goal accuracy by hitting the offensive glass.

Highlands outrebounded UNK 53-33, and 22 of those boards were of the offensive variety.
The game was knotted at 18 apiece before NMHU embarked on a 7-0 mini-run.

It was 43-33 at halftime, and the lead peaked at 22 points on a three-bomb by former Robertson star Justin “Mayo” Montoya. Montoya’s putback of a Derek Freeman miss made
the score 72-50 with 8:21 remaining.

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In women’s hoops, NMHU beat Chadron 83-68 to end a three-game slide but lost 72-68 to UNK.

Alyssa Lopez burned the Eagle women on Friday evening for a game-high 24 points as the Cowgirls (6-12, 3-9) kept Chadron winless in RMAC play at 0-10.

Lopez hit eight of 14 shots. Ashley Godfrey (15 points), China Smith (14 points, nine rebounds) and Whitley Coca (nine points, seven assists, five boards) led Highlands’ effort.

NMHU led just 32-27 at the break but warmed up from there, hitting at a 58 percent clip — including five of eight threes — in the second half.

Highlands led UNK much of the next evening, but a 13-4 Loper run turned the game around.

Two Taylor Ealey free throws had given the Cowgirls a 49-46 edge with 11:30 left. But the jumpers stopped falling for NMHU, and five minutes and 10 seconds later, UNK had a 59-53 lead.

Lopez again paced NMHU with 17 points; Briana Gholston had 12 and seven rebounds, and Smith scored 11.