KINGSVILLE–Robert Owens scored 18 points, but a big run midway through the second half lifted Texas A&M University-Kingsville to a 72-59 win over St. Mary’s University in men’s basketball action Wednesday night at Kleberg Bank Court.
Owens (So., Oakwood) hit on 7-of-9 shots from the field and 4-of-6 from the free throw line. The only other Rattler to score in double figures was Jawan Bailey (Sr., San Antonio), who came off the bench to score 10 points on 3-of-5.
The Rattlers came out of the gates fast, recovering from an early 7-0 hole to go on an 11-3 run and take the lead at 17-15. The teams battled back and forth before a pair of free throws by Bailey with 25 seconds left gave the Rattlers the lead heading into the break.
St. Mary’s stretched the lead to four early in the second half on a three-point play by Owens, but with 15:56 left to play, the game turned. The Javelinas went on a 7-0 run, keyed by a three-pointer by Reggie Love and four points by Remi Yusuf. The Rattlers cut the deficit to just five on an Owens dunk with 13:17 to play. But the Javelinas responded with a crushing 19-9 run over the next seven minutes to go up 66-51 with 6:42 to play.
Yusuf led all scorers with 20 points and pulled down seven rebounds. Stephen Story scored 16 points, while Ricky Huckaby had 15 points for the Javelinas.
As a team the Rattlers shot 44.2 percent from the field, but made only 1-of-10 shots from three-point range. TAMUK hit on 43.1 percent of their shots from the field, but hit on 52.0 percent in the second half. They also made 75 percent of their shots from the free throw line. The Javelinas also pulled down 39 rebounds to 26 for the Rattlers.
With the loss the Rattlers fell to 0-1 on the season, while TAMUK improved to 1-0. St. Mary’s will return to action on Saturday when they host their home opener against Sul Ross State University at 3 p.m. at Bill Greehey Arena.