KINGSVILLE (JAVELINAS ATHLETICS) - Prior to the season, the team had a newfound confidence to it, saying this would be a #RedemptionYear. On Thursday night, they proved just that as the Javelinas entered the second half with a furious rally to complete the 67-55 come from behind victory over Texas Woman's University (5-2, 0-1 LSC). With the win, Texas A&M University-Kingsville (4-2, 1-1 LSC) earned its first Lone Star Conference victory since March 1, 2014.
The preseason poll predicted the Pioneers to place third while the Hogs were down the list at No. 11.
Down 30-25 at the half, the Hogs connected on 5-of-7 from three-point range in the third and finished 9-of-17 from behind-the-arc to snap a seven-game losing streak versus the Pioneers dating back to Feb. 9, 2013. Kaylee Kana was one of many highlights for the Javelinas as the senior forward lit up the stat sheet, finishing with 16 points, 14 coming in the final 20 minutes of action. The senior added five rebounds, four assists and three steals. The array of shots from the second-year member was impressive, as was the team's ability to limit the league's best three-point shooter Emily Spector to just 2-of-12 shooting (1-of-7 from long distance).
Kaylin Roher and Tee Moore joined her in double figures with 17 points and 14 points, respectively. Roher was 7-of-11 overall and 3-of-7 from three-point range and the McLennan CC product added four assists and two steals while Moore was 7-of-11 and 3-of-4 from behind-the-arc. Meesha Wade dished out a career-best eight dimes and the trio of Jaiton Walls, Angelica Wilson and Lily Hospers combined for six blocks. Hospers came off the bench with a game-high seven boards.
The Javelinas held an early 11-6 lead, but the Pioneers closed the quarter on a 9-0 run to take a 15-11 lead into the second.
A&M-Kingsville scored five unanswered points, capped off by back-to-back buckets by Wilson to regain the lead, 19-18, with 6:46 remaining in the first half. Texas Woman's was able to secure a five-point lead and head into the locker room up 30-25.
In the opening half, Roher scored nine points on 4-of-5 shooting and added three assists and two steals. Kana had three assists and two steals, Walls had two blocks and Wilson recorded five points and a blocked shot.
The Hogs came out firing in the second half, jumping out to a 10-2 run, overtaking the game 35-32 on Roher's dagger. The three-pointer with 4:37 remaining in the third gave the Javelinas their first lead of the half. That was all they needed as TWU was scoreless for five minutes after scoring the second half's first points. At the end of three, the Javelinas led 50-39. Kana closed out the third period with 16 points on 7-of-8 shooting and added two triples, five rebounds, four assists and four steals. Roher followed with 15 points, four assists and two steals and Wade led all with five dimes. Hospers, Wilson and Walls swatted away two shots apiece.
The Pioneers attempted a comeback but A&M-Kingsville protected its home floor to clinch its first LSC win of the season, 67-55.
The Javelinas were 7-of-12 from three-point range in the second half, many coming off the dish from Wade, who registered six of her eight assists in the second stanza.
The Javelinas take a break for finals but return to action Dec. 10 at Texas A&M International University. Texas A&M-Kingsville defeated the Dustdevils, 60-46, last week, and Roher was named LSC Defensive Player of the Week for her efforts in the game as the senior finished with six steals.
Points – Kaylin Roher (17 points on 7-of-11 shooting, 3-of-7 from 3FG)
Rebounds – Lily Hospers (7, 5 defensive boards)
Assists – Meesha Wade (8)
Blocks – Jaiton Walls, Lily Hospers and Angelica Wilson (2)
Steals – Kaylee Kana (3)
For Texas Woman's, Alexis Nezianya came off the bench to pace the way with 15 points on 6-of-10 shooting. The Javelina defense swarmed the Pioneers all evening, forcing 23 turnovers. Grace Mitchell and Cienna Rodriguez each had 10 points.
For complete coverage of Texas A&M-Kingsville women's basketball, please follow @TAMUKwbb on Twitter and @TAMUKwbb on Instagram, like the /JavelinaWBB Facebook page, and visit the official home of Texas A&M-Kingsville Athletics at JavelinaAthletics.com.
(© 2016 KIII)