EDINBURG (JAVELINA ATHLETICS) - Robert Stevenson was a beast on the floor for Texas A&M University-Kingsville (7-4, 0-2 LSC) as he finished with a career-high 14 points and six rebounds in the 96-78 exhibition loss against the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley (8-9, 0-0 WAC) on New Years Eve at the UTRGV Fieldhouse.
In the non-conference finale for both clubs, Texas A&M-Kingsville owned the paint as they outscored UTRGV 40-26. The Vaqueros strength in the contests was their outside shooting as they tallied 11 made threes led by the NCAA Division I top ranked three-point shooter, Antonio Green who went 5-of-10 from downtown. Following Stevenson—who was a perfect 6-of-6 from the floor—was Derrick Byrd with 12 points and Caelan Neal with 11 points. Trey Sumpter and Will West both finished with nine points. Sumpter recorded a career-high five assists, while West tied Stevenson with a team-high of six rebounds.
Points: Robert Stevenson, 14
Rebounds: Two players with six rebounds
Assists: Trey Sumpter, 5
Steals: Marcus Frazier, 3
Points: Antonio Green, 21
Rebounds: Six players with four rebounds
Assists: Lew Stallworth, 5
Steals: Lew Stallworth, 3
Blocks: Gage Loy, 1
Just about halfway through the first half, UTRGV led TAMUK 20-8, dominating with the three ball. However, the gritty Javelinas responded and was sparked by an 8-0 run. A triple from Thomas Diaz cut the deficit to 33-30 with 1:47 left in the half. Although the Vaqueros went into the locker room with a 37-34 lead, the Hogs bench outscored the home teams bench 25-19 thanks to West and Stevenson who both had seven points to lead the team at the break.
The Vaqueros came out of halftime on a mission and stretched the lead 66-48 within the first eight minutes. UTRGV expanded its lead to 23 but the Hogs showed no quit. A Javelina 12-0 run trimmed the lead to 11 (73-62) but UTRGV continued to connect from long distance as they ran away with the game late for a 96-78 victory.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
The Javelinas shot better than the Vaqueros from the field and from long distance win the first half (44%-40.7% and 42.9%-38.5%, respectively).
West and Stevenson combined for 14 of the 25 TAMUK bench points after on half of play.
TAMUK held the NCAA leader in three-point field goals made (Antonio Green) to two triples.
UTRGV outscored TAMUK 59-44 and shot 67.9% from the floor and 60% from three-point range in the second half.
The Hogs went 0-7 from beyond-the-arc in the second half.
West and Diaz recorded season highs of nine and seven points, respectively.
Texas A&M-Kingsville is 3-15 in the las 18 games against UTRGV. The series dates back to the 1950's with TAMUK holding a 10-1 record in the first 11 meetings.
When asked about:
…the team fight when down 20-8 in first half and by 23 early in the second half.…
"I have always and will continue to like the heart and fight of this team. Like everyone else, we are fighting a few injuries and trying to find our second semester rhythm. UTRGV did a great job and this game will serve as great preparation for our conference game on Thursday."
…the support on the road.…
"We appreciate our fans for coming to the game. It's always special having the Javelina fan base devote their time to come and support our team. Especially on New Years Eve! Happy New Year Javelina Nation!"
Score: Texas A&M-Kingsville 78, UTRGV 96
Records: Texas A&M-Kingsville (7-4, 0-2 LSC), UTRGV (8-9, 0-0 WAC)
Series: Texas A&M-Kingsville are 13-16 against UTRGV
???????Location: UTRGV Fieldhouse Edinburg, Texas
Time of Game: 1 p.m.
For full coverage of Texas A&M-Kingsville men's basketball, please follow @JavelinaMBB on Twitter and Instagram, like the official Facebook page of Javelina athletics (/JavelinaSports), and subscribe to the JavelinaAthletics YouTube channel.