By Megan Bell
The men’s basketball team faced long time rivals Midwestern State in both games this past week.
Wednesday, Jan. 18, the team travelled to Wichita Falls to play Midwestern State on their home court. The game was a nail biter and on a last second tip in, the Aggies fell to the Midwestern Mustangs 82-80.
The game was neck and neck the entire time. Control of the lead bounced back and forth over five times before the Mustangs seized the ball and refused to give up without a fight. With 1:00 left in the game, the Aggies gained momentum and tied the score up at 80 all. The Mustangs wrestled up some magic of their own, though, and in the final :07 of play, they shot at the buzzer and won the game.
Midwestern was up at the end of the first half, 32-21, which made for an exciting game as the Black and Gold battled back in the second half. Head Coach Wade Alexander was happy with the defense, but not quite so much with the offense of the evening.
“We missed free throws and we gave up too many offensive rebounds,” he said. “We defended well, but when you give up 23 offensive rebounds, they (Mustangs) get a lot of second chances. That is a tough time against a good team. We shot the ball well, so we cannot complain about that. We have got to do a better job at rebounding, bottom line.”
The Aggies focused on not letting the previous loss distract them going into their second game of the week against Midwestern on Saturday, Jan. 21 at the Aggie Gym. Cameron fed off the energy of the 400 uniformed, active-duty military personnel cheering them on in the audience. The game did not go as planned, however, as the Aggies did not get the revenge they were hoping. The Mustangs emerged triumphant once again, with a final score of 66-51.
The Black and Gold shot out like a canon, stealing a lead early on, 11-5, causing their Red River rivals to panic and call an unexpected early time out. Cameron continued to break away from Midwestern, but unfortunately the lead was reversed. By the time the teams headed into the locker rooms at half time, the Mustangs were on top 25-21.
Cameron continued to battle against Midwestern as they pulled the score within one point on four separate instances, but in the end were unable to pull ahead. Coach Alexander was disappointed that the Aggies did not learn from their mistakes from the similar game a few days prior. He said they needed the height advantage of their regular leading scorer, 6’8” junior Vinicius Telo, who has been out for a while due to injury.
“They just whopped up us on the boards,” Coach Alexander said. “It was kind of the same issues from the last game (against MSU on Wednesday). They beat us in the post. That hurt us tonight, as well as last time. They are just bigger. If we see them again, we will probably have to figure out a different way to attack them. Hopefully at that point, Telo will be back. That will give us an extra body in the post.”
Coach Alexander said that all they can do to bounce back from the back-to-back losses is for the Aggies to come back and play solid man defense, improve their rebounding, and take smarter shots.
The Lone Star Conference is approaching the halfway point and Coach Alexander is pleased with where the team is sitting.
“We were picked eighth in pre-season and now we are ranked third. We are doing a lot better than people predicted. We just need the support of our fans,” Coach Alexander said.
Coach Alexander said that the season is full of ups and downs.
“The season is just like the games, it’s a game of runs. Somebody stops your runs, as far as wins; you’ve got to get it back again.”
For detailed information on Aggie men’s basketball, visit www.cameronaggies.com.