Men’s basketball rises above St. Mary’s University

The men’s basketball team took on St. Mary’s University on Jan. 29 and came out on top. MSU finished the game with a 10-point difference of 79-69.

“It was good to have a home win. It was a quick turn around so we couldn’t dwell on our past losses from this weekend. We are trying to just get better every day and take it one day at a time,” Devante Pullum, guard and business senior, said.

The first half ended with a score of 38-31. Brandon Neel, junior guard, made 15 out of 38 points. Neel and Pullum started the game off with two three-pointers in the first two minutes of the game. At the 17:22 mark, Josh Huntley, forward and business senior, made a basket to tie the score. With 11:10 left, Wanaah Bail, forward and undecided junior, made a basket to bring the score to 21-17. Not long after Neel scored two points, then at the 7:50 mark, Logan Hicks, sophomore guard, made a three-pointer and the score rose to 26-17. Halftime was 43 seconds away, and Neel made a foul shot to bring the score to 36-29. With halftime closing in, Pullum went to shoot, but was fouled right as the buzzer went off. Officials added one second back on the clock and he made both foul shots given. The score at the end of the half was 38-31.

“Our strength in the first half was getting the layups and wide open shots,” Neel said. “Our weakness was, we weren’t as fluent in our offense as we were in the first half.”

Pullum started off the first half with a regular shot and a three-pointer to bring the team 10 points above St. Mary’s with 43-33. At the 17:30 mark, Neel stole the ball and ran down the court for a basket. Not far behind him was Trey Kennedy, guard and psychology senior, with a three-point basket to make the score 48-33. With 12:54 left, the team was up by 19 points, Pullum set up Ola Ayodele, junior guard/forward, for a dunk at the 9:43 mark. Ayodele dunked the ball and the score was 60-41. Then just a few minutes later, St. Mary’s started to come back. At the 5:38 mark, Neel made a basket to bring the score to 64-57. Just seconds later he stopped a St. Mary’s basket and Kennedy made a three-point shot. With the game nearing to an end, the men’s team didn’t let up. In the last three minutes, Neel and Pullum made two foul shots each and Ayodele got three baskets. The final score of the game was 79-61.

“We need to start early and bring the energy early. When we shut off for two or three minutes the teams run and we can’t stop them. We need to stay engaged the whole 40 minutes of the game,” Ayodele said.

The men’s record is now 7-14 and they will return to D.L. Ligon Coliseum on Feb. 1 at 7:30 p.m. against Texas A&M-Kingsville. They will also play at the Coliseum on Feb. 3 against Angelo State.