The Cameron University Men’s Basketball team won two straight at home to close out the month of January and kick off February. The Aggies’ victories came over Texas A&M Kingsville and University of Incarnate Word.
The Aggies started their hunt to for 10 straight victories at home by defeating A&M Kingsville in double overtime. Throughout regulation the Aggies battled back and forth with the Javelinas, trading baskets and making defensive stops. Coming back from an 11 point deficit, the Aggies pulled together in the second overtime period for the win.
CU has been put into a career total of 10 double overtime situations but has not seen one since the 2010- 11 season. Senior Andrew “Big Country” Thomas led the Aggies to victory scoring 18 points with one block and a steal. Junior Craig Foster scored 17 points after going scoreless throughout the first half.
The Aggies had their work cut out for them as Rashad Basey led the Javelinas with 27 points. The first half was back and forth as the Aggies traded baskets with the Javelinas until late in the half when Kingsville went on an 11-2 run with 4:21 remaining in the half.
The Aggies retaliated around the two minute mark with a 5-0 run, shortening the gap to an eight point deficit before hitting the locker room with a half time score of 37-29.
The second half was better for the Aggies defensively as there were no big leads established. The Javelinas held a steady two possession grip on CU until the clock hit 3:08 and Foster hit a mid range jumper, followed by a Thomas put-back to tie the game at 66- 66 and force overtime.
The Aggies led through the first overtime period until the last 38 seconds when Javelina Reid Wallace was fouled at the 3-point line and went 3-3 from the charity stripe to tie the game back up 75-75.
The second overtime was taken over by the Javelinas early with Reid hitting a jumper for two followed by the Aggie retaliation from Thomas with the same.
Both teams traded buckets until the one minute mark when the Javelinas took the lead after Dytrel Bracey finger rolled one into the goal. Junior Jonathan Patino was sent to the line with 12 seconds to put the icing on the cake and close the game with a score of 82-79.
Head Coach Wade Alexander explained that it was a good game and he was proud of the Aggie’s resilience and composure.
“That was a great game, Kingsville was where I used to work before here. So a lot of our stuff that we run and try to do defensively are things that I picked up while I was there,” Coach Alexander said. “So as far as a game, it is always a tough one for us. They know our plays and we know their plays, so we are pretty evenly matched in that area. It all comes down to players having to make some plays.”
To bring a happy ending to the first weekend in February, the Aggies pulled out their tenth straight win at home over Incarnate Word. Thomas recorded his career first double-double to help lead the Aggies to victory. Thomas tied his career best of 19 points and a career best 11 boards and one steal.
Coach Alexander said Thomas was an intricate part of the Aggies win.
“He’s playing really well right now and he’s shooting the ball really well and that’s helping us,” Coach Alexander said. “He had not been rebounding really well until that game and that helped us because we needed that out of him and hopefully he can improve with every game because we need him and that helps us play better as a team.”
The first half started with the Aggies down 7-0 after a quick run from UIW. CU pulled into the game with a three pointer from Junior Tim Johnson and a two from Thomas to bring the score to 7-5. The Aggies traded baskets and then pulled ahead just before half time off another three from Johnson leaving the Cardinals to go to the locker room trailing 32-29.
The second half was dominated by the Aggies for the first 10 minutes, where the gap was widened to 14 points (52-38). The game got close after a three and a couple of foul shots from the Cards, but ultimately Cameron came out on top by a score of 69-60.
Coach Alexander said that winning this many at home is not necessarily out of the ordinary but they just need to keep it up. “It’s good, Alexander said, it is something we have preached for a long time and we actually have a little over 75 percent winning average at home over the past five years and we have really taken care of business here. This is not an abnormal thing for us and we would like to continue that.”
Next for the Aggies is Angelo State in San Angelo followed by Abilene Christian Feb. 16 for Cameron’s homecoming week.