San Antonio – Wendell Mulkey’s 15-foot jumper with 1.6 seconds left in the game was the difference as Texas A&M University-Kingsville rallied to defeat St. Mary’s University, 53-51, in non-conference men’s basketball action Saturday night at Bill Greehey Arena.
Mulkey’s jumper capped a late 12-3 run for the Javelinas, who trailed 48-41 with 7:09 left in the game after a put-back by Latez Williams (Sr., Hamilton, Ohio). Over the final seven minutes St. Mary’s committed seven turnovers, helping the Javelinas cause. The Javelina’s hit on three free throws to cut the Rattler lead to four at 48-44 with 5:56 left to play. Mulkey then cut the lead to just two with a driving layup with 5:02 left.
Robert Owens (Jr., Oakwood) hit one-of-two free throws to increase the lead to three at 49-46 with 4:14 left. Mulkey came back with another jumper to make it a one-point ballgame with 3:24 left. Reggie Love made one of two free throws to tie things at 49-49 with 2:45 left. However the Rattlers came right back and Dominique Richardson (Sr., San Antonio) scored the last of his 10 points on a long jumper with 2:12 left to play to give St. Mary’s their final lead at 51-49. Juan Lanauze took a short pass from Mulkey and put in the layup with 1:03 left to tie things at 51-51.
The Rattlers had one last chance to take the lead, but Rod Bellard (Jr., Beaumont) missed a three pointer and Kingsville brought the ball down and held for the last shot. Mulkey held the ball for the final 20 seconds until he drove into the lane against Lorenzo Anthony (Jr., San Antonio), stopped just short of the free throw line and buried the shot for the win.
Williams led St. Mary’s with 16 points and 10 rebounds on 7-of-11 shooting from the field. Richardson was the only other Rattler in double figures with 10 points. Mulkey was only Javelina to score in double figures with 22 points.
With the loss the Rattlers fell to 1-1 on the season, while TAMUK improved to 1-0. St. Mary’s will return to action on Tuesday when they travel to San Angelo to take on Angelo State University at 7:30 p.m.