CANYON, Texas – Junior point guard Kyle Shields narrowly missed his first career double-double, ending play with 14 points and nine rebounds Wednesday night, as the West Texas A&M men’s basketball team notched its sixth straight victory, defeating Texas A&M-Kingsville 69-51 at the First United Bank Center.
The win, which is WT’s 11th in its last 12 contests, improves the team’s overall record to 19-6, which includes a 9-1 mark in Lone Star Conference South Division play. The Javelinas, meanwhile, fall to 16-9 on the year and 5-5 in league action.
One major factor in the contest was the Buffs ability to control the boards. WT held a 44-26 advantage in the rebounding column allowing it to post a 22-2 lead in second chance points.
Senior Andre Hill enjoyed a solid night, contributing 12 points on 5-of-8 shooting and six rebounds while collecting two blocked shots on the defensive end. Classmate Robert Lee was also potent, chipping in with 10 points and two blocks.
After jumping out to a 7-2 lead in the contest, the Texas A&M-Kingsville shooters went cold as they were held off the scoreboard by a the Buffs’ powerful defensive effort for the next 4:16. The drought allowed the Buffs to build a 12-7 lead with a 10-0 run.
A lay-up by Adan Montalvo gave the Javelinas a 14-12 advantage, but the lead was short-lived as a thundering dunk by the Buffs’ Hill tied the game at 14-14.
The Buffs used the momentum from the dunk to produce a 15-5 run which left them in possession of an eight-point lead at 27-19 with 5:48 to play.
Texas A&M-Kingsville recovered to make a small run prior to halftime, but the Buffs ended the half on a surge as junior Keon Grant nailed a three-pointer with 38 seconds to play and Tyler Cooper’s fast break lay-up with only 20 seconds remaining gave the Buffs a 10-point advantage, 38-28. The Javelinas, however, got a short jumper from Stephen Story as time expired to head to the locker room down only eight.
Grant started the scoring
starting in the second half, draining another shot from long distance with 17:51
on the clock after both teams came up empty on their first few possession of the
period. The junior from
A pair of free throws from Hill gave the Buffs a double-digit advantage, 51-40, with 10:43 to play. Another powerful dunk by Hill, this time after a fast break miss by Lee, pushed the Buffs’ lead to 18, 62-44, with 3:20 remaining in the contest.
The lead swelled to as many as 20 on two Pierre Barlow free throws with 2:52 to play, putting the game out of reach of the Javelinas.
The Buffs return to action on their home court this weekend when they face No. 12 Tarleton State in a showdown of the top two teams in the LSC South standings. WT also will be out for a measure of revenge as their only loss in conference play came against TSU earlier this season.