Texas A&M University-Kingsville (14-7, 7-5 LSC) outlasted Cameron University (14-9, 7-6 LSC), 58-56 in the Gil E. Physical Education Center on Saturday afternoon to win its sixth consecutive game.
The Javelinas have won six straight games for the first time sine the 2007-08 season. That win streak started with a 79-56 home victory over Cameron in the 10th year of head coach Pete Peterson.
Texas A&M-Kingsville and Cameron played a tight game that not only featured nine lead changes, but both teams largest margin was just five points. Both teams went into intermission tied at 28. TAMUK edged its opponent 30-28 in the second half thanks to the heroics from Derrick Byrd for the second consecutive game. Byrd played a role in the Javelinas final five points to cap off a Hoggie's 6-0 run to end the game.
With the score 56-53 in favor of the Aggies, Byrd had a beautiful drive and dish to "Hot Hand" Justin Jones in the far corner that tied the game at 56 with 1:09 remaining in the game. The Javelinas capitalized on some missed opportunities at the free throw line from their opponent and with seconds on the clock, Byrd pulled up at the elbow and sunk the jumper to put the Hogs ahead 58-56 with three seconds left. The Javelinas went on to complete the comeback despite being down by five in the second half with three minutes left before time expired.
"This is the second game that dude has won for us," said by head coach Johnny Estelle about Byrd. " After he hit that shot, he looked at me and asked me what I thought since I am hard on him about point guards stepping up."
Byrd ended the game with seven points, a game-high of four assists and back-to-back game winning baskets. Duan Wright led the team with 15 points and had a good all-around performance with four rebounds, three assists and two steals. In his first start this season, Will West poured in a season-high 11 points and grabbed five rebounds. Trey Sumpter was just shy of a double-double with nine points and eight rebounds.
Points: Duan Wright, 15
Rebounds: Trey Sumpter,8
Assists: Derrick Byrd, 4
Steals: Duan Wright, 2
Blocks: Two players with one block
Points: Tyus Momoh, 17
Rebounds: Delvonte Pierre, 8
Assists: Two players with two assists
Steals: JV Long, 2
Blocks: Trey Hall, 2
The Javelinas had a strong start to the half as they jumped out to a 7-2 lead at the 15:24 mark. The Aggies responded however, with an 8-2 run over the next five minutes to take a 10-9 lead. Late in the half after a few lead changes, Jalen Nicholas put up a shot with .6 on the clock while being fouled. Nicholas made both free throws and the half ended with both teams tied 28-28.
The Hogs held the Aggies to 0-of-9 shooting from the three-point line but struggled to take care of the ball with seven turnovers that led to ten points. The home team did shoot a .500 clip from the field in the half and was led by Wright's nine points and West's seven points.
The final stanza was just as tight as the first one until Cameron went on a 6-0 run to match the largest margin of the game—43-38— with 9:55 on the clock. The run was stopped by a jam from Wright that sparked their own 6-0 run to regain the lead, 44-43. Texas A&M-Kingsville's run was answered by a three from Tyus Momoh for yet another lead change.
After going back and forth for a few more minutes, things got tight as Cameron was ahead 56-53 with 1:36 left in the game. As time ticked away, Byrd set up a beautiful feed to Justin Jones who knocked down a triple in the corner to tie the game with 69 seconds remaining. Byrd then showed his defensive skills as he blocked Momoh's floater and forced a Cameron turnover. With the ball in the point guards hands, Byrd sprinted to the basket but pulled up short and let it fly, draining the bucket for the two-point lead with three seconds away from it becoming final. Cameron had no answer after the inbound and the Hogs escaped with in another home game thriller, 58-56.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
The Javelinas are 9-0 overall this season when holding their opponents less than 60 points.
The Aggies 11.8 three-point shooting percentage matched an opponent season-low. The also matched a low of five total assists.
CU outscored TAMUK 24-18 in the paint, 16-11 off of turnovers and 19-13 from the bench.
The game featured seven ties and nine lead changes.
Both clubs made 19 field goals.
The Javelinas out hustled the Aggies on the glass 34-29 including a 11-5 margin on the offensive boards.
The Aggie bench played strong in the 1st half and outscored the Javelinas 12-6.
Cameron was 14-of-16 from the charity stripe in the first half alone.
When asked about:
…the team stepping up in tight situations.…
"It was tough playing without Caelan Neal today, but it forced guys to step up. Will and Duan had to play longer and Jones stepped up big with that three. However, Derrick Byrd has really been big for us especially with that assists to Jones. That assists was arguably better than the actual shot."
…the team's play today.…
"I thought we played well in spurts but not well overall. Playing Cameron after a physical Midwestern State team that took a lot out of us was tough. But these guys found a way to win it."
…the upcoming games against Tarleton State and A&M-Commerce.…
"We have to get healthy and continue to get better. It will be a challenging environment on Thursday against Tarleton State and not any easier for us on Saturday against A&M-Commerce. We will have to be ready because it is a war every night in the LSC."
Score: Texas A&M-Kingsville 58, Cameron 56
Records: Texas A&M-Kingsville (14-7, 7-5 LSC), Cameron (14-9, 7-6 LSC)
Series: Texas A&M-Kingsville are 19-20 against Cameron
Location: The SPEC Kingsville, Texas
Time of Game: 2 p.m.
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