No. 3-ranked Buffs roll Mustangs for 37th straight home win
West Texas A&M post player John Brown throws down a dunk during a Lone Star Conference game against Western New Mexico on Thursday at the First United Bank Center. [Mackenzie Teal/ Press Pass Sports]
If it’s Western New Mexico as the West Texas A&M opponent, it’s good news for the Buffs.
For the second time in 19 days No. 3-ranked West Texas put a hurting on Western New Mexico using a 21-4 run over the final six minutes of the first half as the catalyst for a 105-81 Lone Star Conference victory Tuesday night at the First United Bank Center.
On Jan. 11 the Buffs had handed the Mustangs a 21-point (100-79) defeat and Tuesday was much the same.
West Texas’ ability to get the basket at will against the Western New Mexico man defense, along with turning the Mustangs over 27 times, led to the lopsided win upping the Buffs current win streak to 11 and pushing its home winning streak to an eye-opening 37.
“Western New Mexico beat Commerce last year at Commerce so you just don’t count anybody out,” said West Texas coach Tom Brown, his team improving to the best record to the start of a season in school history at 20-1 and atop the LSC at 12-1. “I thought they got a little bit tired and we were able to wear them down. That was a very good run to close out the second half.”
West Texas led 59-32 by halftime and never gave Western New Mexico (4-16 overall, 3-9 in LSC) a sniff of a comeback in the second half.
The Buffs fired up 42 3-pointers of their 85 field goal attempts and landed four players in double figures led by sophomore Qua Grant’s 16 points in 22 minutes of action in the 40-minute game.
Also finding double figures was 6-11 junior John Brown with a career-high 15, sophomore Derrick Geddis with 13 and sophomore Jon’il Fugett added 12.
Fugett added a team-high eight assists, while Grant led the Buffs with nine rebounds.
The only question that had to be answered late in this one was who would score the Buffs 100th point and that arrived at the free throw line with 3:10 remaining by freshman Kavon Booker.
“There are some things we really need to work on and clean up if we want to be a good tournament team,” Brown said. “We can’t afford to get sloppy. But sure, overall I’m happy.”
Western New Mexico was led by sophomore guard Malik Sanders who scored 18 points, grabbed a team-high eight rebounds. Sanders also struggled against the Buffs pressure defense with eight of those 27 turnovers.
West Texas A&M’s three starting sophomores Qua Grant, Joel Murray and Derrick Geddis improved their career record to 54-5. … Brown reached a milestone Tuesday winning his 150th game (150-49) and notching his fifth 20-win plus season in six years at West Texas.
West Texas returns to action at 4 p.m. Saturday hosting UT Permian Basin.