Buffs battle TAMUK Javelinas for a 74-68 victory

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WT player Miles Gatewood takes a shot over two Javelina defenders.

WT player Miles Gatewood takes a shot over two Javelina defenders.

The Buffs added another one to the win column by defeating the Texas A&M Kingsville Javelinas on Feb. 7 in a hard fought shoot out. The game was a back and forth slugfest, with each team trading their respective blows. The Buffs would have the last word in this one, winning the game 74 to 68.


The Buffs jumped out to a quick nine to five lead, dominating the boards early with eight rebounds to the Javelinas’ two. The early momentum wouldn’t last, as the Javelinas would quickly strike back with an eight to two run and would even up the rebound battle with each team having 11 apiece. The Buffs’ early problems in the first half would stem from poor shooting, shooting only 26.7 percent in the first 12 minutes of the game. The Buffs would flip the switch though. Powered by an offensive outburst by the likes of senior Miles Gatewood, and freshman Carl White, the Buffs would go on a 21 to 6 run to go into the half. Gatewood would have 15 points, and White would add another 10. Senior Tez Dumars, who was honored before the game for having 1,000 points as a Buff, also added another seven points. The Buffs also took advantage of the Javelinas mistakes in the early goings of the game, scoring 14 points off turnovers in the first half.


The Buffs would start out the second half very slowly, allowing the Javelinas to jump back into the game and eventually take the lead after a 20 to 5 run and the Buffs shooting a mere 22.2 percent. The Buffs would claw their way back by the 8:33 mark in the game, tying it up at 50 to 50.


“We were a little bit flat, but they really don’t lose that focus, and I give them all the credit for that,” Head Coach Tom Brown said.


Dumars ended the game with 25 points, 18 of those in the second half, a performance that impressed Coach Brown.


“You know, Tez, I’m going to have to give him a ball before every game if he promises to play like that,” said Brown.


The Buffs also improved their shooting exponentially in the second half from where they started, ending the half with 50 percent shooting. Dumars also moved into ninth place in the all-time scorer list for the Buffs.


“I just wanted to put the team on my back and I just took shots, and they went down. It really comes down to the defense,” Dumars said. “This is a tough conference, and every team is going to play you for 40 minutes. We knew they’d come in ready to play.”


Senior Antjuan Ball, who is a finalist for the 2015 State Farm Dark Horse Dunker competition, had three dunks in the last 1:49 of the game, putting an exclamation on the game with a breakaway dunk.


“I got a good opportunity, I’m in a good position right now,” Ball said. “I just want to get in this situation to put WT on the map. Most people might not know about WT.”


The Buffs next challenge is Midwestern State University, who is 18-5 on the year and 7-2 in the conference. This could be a crucial game for the Buffs who look to gain some momentum heading into the conference championship tournament.


“Midwestern is such a tough matchup for us. They are so big, strong, not just height wise either, they are just big boys,” Coach Brown said. “They really play physical, it’s almost like football game. So we’ve got to get into the fight, get in the mix. We have to step it up, and if we only play half speed, we’re going to get pounded. We’re going to get after it in practice today and tomorrow. We gotta get after it likes it’s a football game.”


The Buffs play Midwestern State Feb. 11 at the First United Bank Center in Canyon, Texas.