A victorious day in the Dome


Fans in the Dome witnessed a complete sweep for men and women basketball against Texas A&M International Saturday, Feb. 1. The atmosphere was aggressive as both teams bounced back from losses against Texas A&M Kingsville earlier in the week. 

Women’s basketball

The women started the day off with Elizabeth Cathcart (No. 43), forward and marketing senior, storming the court with a bang, scoring eight points within the first four minutes of the first quarter. The Mustangs put up a strong defense against the Dust Devils, only allowing them to score 20 points in the period. Mica Schneider (No. 4), guard and finance senior, made a 3-point buzzer-beater to advance the Mustangs to 24-20 at the end of the first quarter. The Mustangs put up a competitive first half, leading the game 51-39. The team started the third quarter off a little rocky, with the Dust Devils closing the gap 66-55. However, that didn’t stop the Mustangs as they charged in the fourth quarter shooting five points within the first two minutes.

Markayla Johnson (No.12), guard and accounting freshman, came off the bench during the fourth quarter, capturing a career high six points.

“Get in and play hard, keep the same energy as the team before we had on the court. It’s all about believing in yourself and that’s what I did,” Johnson said. “I just went in there and said to just play your game.”

Schneider ended the night with a career high of 26 points and lead her team to victory, beating the Dust Devils 87-77. The team celebrated its victory without Noel Johnson, head women’s basketball coach. Coach Johnson was unable to be on the court with her team as she was not feeling well due to her fight with ovarian cancer.

“The way I saw it was, the CEO is not always in the office. They tell you what to do and they tell you how to do it,” Cathcart said. “You have to keep doing your job, so if the boss steps out for lunch, or they’re not feeling well, you have to do what’s expected of you. I thought we did pretty well on that today.”

Assistant Coach Christopher Reay stepped into the head coach position for the game.

“Some days are better than others. She’s had days where she misses practice; it just had fallen on a game day. We tried to give her rest this morning during shoot around [but] she still wasn’t feeling up to it. I’m just proud of the team for the way they responded and performed,” Reay said.

Men’s basketball

The men’s team continued the fight against the Dust Devils. D’Monta Harris (No. 13), guard and undecided senior, lit up the net by scoring 11 out of the team’s 16 points within the first five minutes. The Mustangs followed behind him as scoring 19 points in the first half. Harris continued to lead the team with 13 points and Ola Ayodele (No. 15), guard and general studies senior, led with three rebounds. The Mustangs continued to push through as they finished the first half victorious 43-21 against the Dust Devils. The team’s intense drive followed into the second half as Harris added six more points. Halfway through the last half, the Mustangs stampeded into a 30 point lead. Darius Thompson (No.3), guard and mass communication senior, protected the net with three blocks.

 Elijah Lee (No. 1), guard and mass communication senior, posted his first career double-double with 13 points and 10 assists.

“I really was just having fun today and the rest just took care of itself,” Lee said.

Lee’s pressure on the net and Harris’s phenomenal 26-point game helped his team advance to a 35-point lead against the Dust Devils. As the clock ran out, the Mustangs kept pushing hard to berth a new team high with 15 made 3-pointers. 

“We’ve been through a lot of ups and downs. We continue to progress on and get better and better each day, and today was a clear sign of that. I think we’ll be alright and today was fun,” Harris said.

The Mustangs ended the week with a victory against the Dust Devils 99-58. 

“What I was so proud of tonight [was that] it wasn’t a game where I was on the sidelines calling a million plays. This was them being basketball players, doing fundamental reads,” Justin Leslie, head men’s basketball coach, said. “The best part for me was the fact that we had 25 assists as a team. When you’re sharing the ball and making the larger plays and passing like that, it’s just so contagious in the right way and so exciting to see.”