West Texas A&M guard JoJo Murray makes an easy layup during a Lone Star Conference game against UT Permian Basin on Saturday at the First United Bank Center. [Mackenzie Teal/ Press Pass Sports]
West Texas A&M – once again – proved Saturday its tougher at home than picking the winner of the San Francisco-Kansas City Super Bowl.
And we all know the winner of Sunday’s game is anybody’s guess.
This time it is was Lone Star Conference foe University of Texas-Permian Basin feeling the brunt of WT’s consistent formula for success – outstanding sophomore guard play from Qua Grant JoJo Murray, hustling man-to-man defense and 3-point shooting – during a 111-78 WT victory before 1,456 fans in the First United Bank Center.
WT remained atop the LSC at 13-1 and is 21-1 overall. UTPB dropped to 14-10 and 7-8.
“I think that’s as a complete offensive performance as we have had during the LSC this year,” said West Texas head coach Tom Brown. “We knew they’d play zone and mix in a little man defense. Our guys really shared the basketball and even when we missed I thought we were able to get good shots. And our defense turned them over 27 times without pressing.”
The win, really never in doubt, pushed WT’s home winning streak to 38 in a row, its current winning streak to 11 and was its seventh LSC home win this season.
Those seven wins are by margins of 13, 15, 16, 24 twice, 28 and Saturday’s 33 points.
West Texas led 53-39 at halftime and showed its unselfish attitude with 14 assists, compared to four assists from UTPB.
The Buffs hit the 100-point mark with 5:41 to play on senior guard Jordan Collins 3-pointer.
Murray, a 6-0 guard from Rowlett, continued his impressive season scoring a career-high 32 points, one of four players reaching double figures for WT.
Murray made his points on an 11-of-20 shooting effort from the floor and made a team-high six three-pointers.
“We aren’t trying to get guys points, I think JoJo came out with eight minutes to play,” Brown said. “He wasn’t forcing and he was getting good looks. When you share the basketball and play together we are fun to watch.”
Murray was joined in double figures by Grant with 25, sophomore Derrick Geddis with 13 and senior Eric Mosley added 11.
Grant led the Buffs with 10 rebounds producing a double double.
WT finished 12-of-33 from 3-point land, dished out 25 assists and forced 23 turnovers out of UTPB.
UTPB, which fell to WT 98-83 in Odessa on Jan. 9, shot a solid 28-of-54 from the floor (51.9 percent) but still lost by the 33 points. Senior guard Pat Dembley led UTPB with 18 points.
The Buffs three starting sophomores Derrick Geddis, Grant and Murray upped their career record to 55-5 with the win over UTPB. … Amarillo High graduate Adam Rivera is a junior at UTPB and scored seven points, grabbed eight rebounds in 25 minutes of action. … Brown moved his six-year coaching record to 151-81 and is the fifth coach in WT history to reach the 151.
The Buffs hit the road Thursday for a short road trip to Lubbock visiting Lubbock Christian at 7:30 p.m. WT handed LCU a 92-68 defeat on Jan. 18.