By Mark Molina
Well it was a problem that Coach Pete Peterson talked about during post-game interviews following victories, and tonight it took center stage.
The Texas A&M Kingsville Javelina men’s basketball team saw a 23-point second half lead disappear after small mistakes turned major and long offensive droughts spelled doom down the stretch led to a dramatic finish that saw St. Mary’s university grab a 77-75 victory via a late lay-in by Ray Marshall.
“We had to burn our time outs and we tried to burn one we didn’t have,” Peterson said, “I didn’t do a good job there in the second half of managing time, seven or eight more seconds off the clock each time and it’s our game.”
The Javelinas led from the 17-minute mark and did not trail again till there was 5.6 seconds left to play in the game.
Ashton Brown who started in place of regular starter Ryan Layssard who is out with foot problems, helped the Hogs to a big lead after dropping 32 points in the first 27 minutes of the game and dropped six three-pointers including four in the first half.
Brown’s last three point shot early in the second half was answered by a 14-0 Rattler run over the next three and a half minutes.
The Rattlers used their height and depth advantage to make good on a tough pressing defense that wore the Hogs down in the second half which
AMK led by six with under a minute to play only to have Marshall collect on a three-point play to make it 76-73 followed by a Marcus Ford technical foul after he tried to call a timeout the team did not have.
Audrey Lamb of SMU connected on one free-throw and Kevin Kotzur went to the line and split setting up Marshall for the final tip in to make it 77-76.
The Javelinas shot 62.5 percent from the field in the first half and 30.8 percent in the second half. They went 9-for-21 from three-point range and were 11-for-15 at the foul line. Brown scored 32 points for the second straight game on 10-of-19 shooting from the field.
He added five assists, four rebounds and three steals in 39 minutes of action. Williams finished with 18 points, four rebounds and three steals.
The team had 15 turnovers and 13 steals.