“Tonight was a quality win for us against a really good team,” said WT head coach Rick Cooper. “We really thought that if we could put it together by continuing to work hard, we could put ourselves in a position to win games like this. It was a good effort by our guys, we played really hard and didn’t make some of the mistakes we’ve had been making the last couple weeks. We still have a lot of things to work, but I’m just thrilled to hit the road with a win.”
The Bulldogs got their home crowd into the game early, building their largest lead of the night – a seven-point margin at 19-12 – at the 13:14 mark. The Buffs, however, rallied in the hostile environment to reel off 13 straight points to take the advantage for the remainder of the half and send the teams to the locker rooms with the visitors from Canyon leading 42-37.
Following their return to the court, the Bulldogs mounted a rally, chipping the WT lead, which grew to as many as 10 in the game’s opening period, down to only three at 49-46 with 17:14 to play. The Buffs, however, responded with a 7-0 run of their own to reassert control and cruise to their 10th win of the season.
Southwestern, meanwhile, suffered only its third loss of the year and fell to 12-3 After misfiring on his last eight three-point attempts, junior Keon Grant sprang to life against SWOSU, connecting on 6-of-10 treys in the game, to finish with 18 points for the contest. In addition to the outside game, the Buffs had two post players post impressive performances with Andre Hill narrowly missing a double-double with 10 points and nine rebounds, while Chris Hinz produced 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting.
Junior point guard Kyle Shields posted his fifth double figure scoring night in his last six contests with 10 points on 5-of-9 shooting from the floor. For the second straight game, the Buffs were able to outrebound their opponent, holding a 38-27 advantage on the boards. The positive rebounding margin allowed WT to hold 25-15 advantage in second chance points, in addition to leading 62-44 in points in the paint.
The Buffs return home to the First United Bank Center on Wednesday to kick off Lone Star Conference South Division play when they host Angelo State in an 8 p.m. match up.
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