Not many freshmen would have the confidence to shoot a 3-pointer down by two in the final seconds at home in a conference game. But then again, in his thirty years of coaching at Tarleton, Lonn Reisman hasn't put too many freshmen on the court to have that opportunity to win the game.
Preston Enloe can now check that off Reisman's coaching resume. Enloe, a true freshman from Plano, drilled a 3-pointer with a hand in his face and only two seconds left on the clock to lift Tarleton to a 68-67 come-from-behind win over Eastern New Mexico.
The win moves the Texans to 6-3 overall and 3-1 in the Lone Star Conference.
In the first five minutes of the game, it appeared Tarleton was going to run away with it early after building an 11-0 lead over the Greyhounds. Deshawn Riddick scored eight of his 10 points during that stretch and also had four assists in the game, including the assist to set up Enloe's game winner.
The starters for the Greyhounds weren't producing so they went to their bench early and often. The Greyhound reserves sparked a huge run that quickly erased Tarleton's lead. Eastern New Mexico led at the half 29-23, with its bench scoring all the points, including going 7 of 9 on 3-pointers.
After hitting another three to open the second half, the Texans faced a nine-point deficit. But Jaraan Lands had a career night that put Tarleton in position to win. Lands scored eight of the next 11 points to tie the game at 34-34. The junior from Indiana posted a career-high 27 points - including 21 in the second half - on 8 of 11 shooting to go with six rebounds.
Eastern New Mexico answered with a 14-4 run over the next five minutes to lead 48-38.
That's when Reisman put Enloe into the lineup along with Lands and the two Texan newcomers continued to score and keep the Texans close. Lands' 3-point play, followed by back-to-back 3-pointers and a layup from Enloe made it a 52-49 game. Enloe scored a career-high 11 points in 17 minutes.
Nosa Ebomwonyi was the unsung hero in the game, as the senior forward not only grabbed a game-high 14 rebounds, but his steal and breakaway dunk to put the Texans down by one with seven minutes left swung the momentum. Ebomwonyi finished with five points, 14 rebounds and two steals.
Tarleton took its first lead since the opening minutes on a pair of free throws by Lands, who went 11 of 17 at the line in the game. The lead would hold until Eastern New Mexico made the last of its 14 3-pointers to go up 67-65 with 22 seconds left that set up Enloe's heroics.
Tarleton finished the game shooting 42 percent from the floor (55 percent in the second half). The Texans also limited its turnovers from 10 in the first half to three in the second.
Josh Hawley controlled the glass with eight rebounds and tied his career high with four blocks. Hawley also scored seven points. Corinthian Ramsey and Clashon Gaffney each added four points for the Texans.
Tarleton will host No. 19 Western Oregon (8-1) for a nonconference showdown on Tuesday, Dec. 12, at 7 p.m.