Basketball

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Head Coach Wade Scott talks with his players during a timeout last season
Head Coach Wade Scott talks with his players during a timeout last season

After a school-worst 0-26 finish to the 2014-2015 season, the Texas A&M University-Kingsville women’s basketball team has decided to clean house, starting with the roster.

First-year head coach Wade Scott has decided to cut all players except for forward Ope Ibrahim, Kyra Bauer, Kaila Cihzer and guard Ashley Viera.

“I enjoyed all of these players and coaching them,” Scott said. “But at the end of the day it (coaching college athletis) is a business.”

Scott is coming off his first season as head coach and is the 13th head coach in Javelina women’s basketball history.  He joined TAMUK after eight seasons as an assistant coach on the University of Houston women’s basketball team.

“We had a lot of players commit (for next season) but I can’t say anything right now until compliance signs off.”

According to a former Javelina basketball player who asked not to be named, Scott made his decision to trim the roster just weeks after the final game of the season.

“I don’t agree with it at all,” she said. “I just feel like two of the girls that were kept don’t produce.”

Still, with a winless season, it was easy to see changes were coming, she said. And that could be a problem since more than half the roster still needs to be filled. The players cut include two who would have completed their college eligibility next year, she said.

“I feel like he (Scott) should have kept the soon-to-be seniors just because these girls have been at TAMUK since their freshman year,” she said. “For him to cut them because they weren’t his recruits is what hurt us.

“We did everything he asked and for him to penalize the girls who still have eligibility is wrong.”

Scott has signed two junior college players so far this recruiting season – Kaylin Roher and Kaylee Kana, who will join the Javelinas come fall.

 Kana is a 6-foot forward who played the past two years at Ranger College in Ranger, Texas, where she averaged 9.5 points per game and 5.3 rebounds per game in 26 games.

 Scott now has a chance to build his team through recruting and avoic another winless season.

New faces and new chemistry could just be what the team needs  to turn the team around, she said, but she feels she and her former teammates got the short end of the stick.

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Photo courtesy of Javelina Athletics

For the women’s basketball team of Texas A&M-Kingsville, a strong second half effort where they outscored their opponent 34-30, proved to not be enough as they fell to 0-24 on the season with a 78-65 loss to Cameron University on senior night.

With Javelina seniors Lauren Jay and Tonje Milde being honored before the game, TAMUK was set on finishing their final home game of the season with a win, with Jay and sophomore Micah Weaver set on doing just that.

“Lauren really played well coming in right off the bat,” said head coach Wade Scott. “It’s her senior year and you always want to go out on top.”

Jay, who has been a leader since she first wore blue and gold, knows how much she appreciates playing in front of the fans in Kingsville, especially for the last time.

“Playing in front of this crowd for the last time, I really wanted to give it my all and my best,” said Jay. “I love this crowd and their support and how they always back me up.”

The senior forward finished her final game at Hampton Inn Court with 13-points on 6-11 shooting in 28 minutes of play.

For Weaver, scoring the basketball has come natural all season long and she showed it once again despite the Javelina struggles in the first half.

“Micah played well tonight and she has all season long,” said Scott.

The 5’9 shooting guard finished with 20-points on 10-15 shooting in 34 minutes of play.

For Cameron, consistent scoring and taking advantage of Javelina turnovers, proved to be the difference. The Aggies scored 23-points off of turnovers and finished with 4 players scoring over 10-points with forward Brani Leal and guard Jade Herl combing for 36 of their 78-points.

“We want to move on and get a win,” said Scott. “We have two more chances to do that and we will see what happens.”

With the Javelinas sitting at the bottom of the Lone Star Conference, a win at Midwestern State and Angelo still gives them hope of getting into the LSC tournament. With Scott still searching for his first win as head coach, he knows time is running out but the window to succeed is still open.

“If we can get a win in both of those games then we make things interesting,” said Scott. “We can slip into that 8th spot and get into the conference tournament but if not, we still want to get a win because nobody wants to go winless in a season.”

With just two games left in the regular season and with a chance to finish 0-26 for the first time in school history, all it takes is one leader to make a difference and give her team a reason to believe. The Javelinas will look to capture their first win of the season with their final road trip of the season starting in Wichita Falls, Texas.

“Going into Midwestern, I know we can overcome them if we execute,” said Jay. “If we can score and rebound we will have a chance. They are a good team but so are we.”

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Jordan Jahr (31) shrugs his defender to get open in the paint. Photo by Rey Castillo
Duan Wright (13) goes for the slam in the second-half against Cameron. Photo by Rey Castillo
Duan Wright (13) goes for the slam in the second-half against Cameron. Photo by Rey Castillo

With only two games left in the regular reason and the Lone Star Conference Tournament less than a month away, the men’s basketball team of Texas A&M University Kingsville took care of home court on their final home game of the season with a 78-65 win over Cameron University, Feb. 18.

Seniors Jordan Jahr, Justin Phillippe and Don Thomas played their final game at home as they celebrated Senior Night in front of a packed Hampton Inn Court where they were honored before the game.

The Javelinas battled from the start , but it was the second half where they showed their talent and the rest of the LSC that they are a force to be reckoned with. Forward Duan Wright who scored only 2 points in the first half, made sure that the second half would belong to him and sure enough, it did.

The junior Scored 21 of his 23 points in the second half giving him a new career-high in points in just 32 minutes of play.

“We have to go out in our last home game with a bang,” said Wright. “A game like this makes me want to work even harder in the gym and for me and my teammates to give it our all.”

With the Javelinas outscoring the Aggies 34-30 in the second half after being outscored 48-31 in the first half, coach Estelle knew that these seniors might just be playing their final basketball of their lives and strong second half performance was essential if they wanted to come out on top.

“Coach told us it was the last game and we just wanted to play hard for them,” said Wright. “We gotta get ready for the tournament and continue to work hard every day.”

Senior forward Jahr, finished with a double-double which included 18-points and 14 rebounds on 7-13 shooting in his swan song home game.

“It felt great and that’s how you want to end your last home game,” said Jahr. “We still have work to do but it feels good to come out on top.”

With the win the Javelinas are now 8-16 overall and 3-9 in the LSC and with a date with Midwestern State in their final road trip of the season.

“It’s do or die for us,” said head coach Johnny Estelle. “Heading into the final games of the season and the LSC Tournament, one bad possession can cost you a game, so it is a major deal for our kids to come up with a quality win. They work hard in practice and throughout the games and I could not be prouder.”

After losing by just 4-points in their last meeting with the Mustangs on January 24th, the Javelinas know they are capable of coming out on top the second time around.

“We can’t have turnovers and we must rebound,” said Wright. We must take care of the ball against those guys because they can take advantage of turnovers and shoot it.”

Duan Wright goes for the slam against Cameron University. Photo by Rey Castillo
Duan Wright scored 21 of his 23 points in the second half.
Duan Wright scored 21 of his 23 points in the second half. Photo by Rey Castillo

With only two games left in the regular reason and the Lone Star Conference Tournament only a month away, the men’s basketball team of Texas A&M University Kingsville took care of home court on their final home game of the season with a 78-65 win over Cameron University.

Seniors Jordan Jahr, Justin Phillippe and Don Thomas played their final game at home as they celebrated senior night in front of a packed Hampton Inn Court where they were honored before the game.

The Javelinas battled from the start but it was the second half where they showed their talent and the rest of the LSC that they are a force to be reckoned with. Forward Duan Wright who scored only 2 points in the first half, made sure that the second half would belong to him and sure enough, it did. The Jr. Scored 21 of his 23 points in the second half giving him a new career-high in points in just 32 minutes of play.

“We have to go out in our last home game with a bang,” said Wright. “A game like this makes me want to work even harder in the gym and for me and my teammates to give it our all.”

With the Javelinas outscoring the Aggies 34-30 in the second half after being outscored 48-31 in the first half, coach Estelle knew that these seniors might just be playing their final basketball of their lives and strong second half performance was essential if they wanted to come out on top.

“Coach told us it was the last game and we just wanted to play hard for them,” said Wright. “We gotta get ready for the tournament and continue to work hard every day.”

The senior forward Jahr, finished with a double-double which included 18-points and 14 rebounds on 7-13 shooting in his swan song home game.

“It felt great and that’s how you want to end your last home game,” said Jahr. “We still have work to do but it feels good to come out on top.”

With the win the Javelinas are now 8-16 overall and 3-9 in the LSC and with a date with Midwestern State in their final road trip of the season.

“It’s do or die for us,” said head coach Johnny Estelle. “Heading into the final games of the season and the LSC Tournament, one bad possession can cost you a game, so it is a major deal for our kids to come up with a quality win. They work hard in practice and throughout the games and I could not be prouder.”
After losing by just 4-points in their last meeting with the Mustangs on January 24th, the Javelinas know they are capable of coming out on top the second time around.

“We can’t have turnovers and we must rebound,” said Wright. We must take care of the ball against those guys because they can take advantage of turnovers and shoot it.”

Micah Weaver led all scorers with 20 points in her final home game of the season. Photo by Rey Castillo

For the women’s basketball team of Texas A&M-Kingsville, a strong second half effort where they outscored their opponent 34-30, proved to not be enough as they fell to 0-24 on the season with a 78-65 loss to Cameron University on senior night.

With Javelina seniors Lauren Jay and Tonje Milde being honored before the game, TAMUK was set on finishing their final home game of the season with a win, with Jay and sophomore Micah Weaver set on doing just that.

“Lauren really played well coming in right off the bat,” said head coach Wade Scott. “It’s her senior year and you always want to go out on top.”

Jay, who has been a leader since she first wore blue and gold, knows how much she appreciates playing in front of the fans in Kingsville, especially for the last time.

“Playing in front of this crowd for the last time, I really wanted to give it my all and my best,” said Jay. “I love this crowd and their support and how they always back me up.”

The senior forward finished her final game at Hampton Inn Court with 13-points on 6-11 shooting in 28 minutes of play.

For Weaver, scoring the basketball has come natural all season long and she showed it once again despite the Javelina struggles in the first half.

“Micah played well tonight and she has all season long,” said Scott.

The 5’9 shooting guard finished with 20-points on 10-15 shooting in 34 minutes of play.

For Cameron, consistent scoring and taking advantage of Javelina turnovers, proved to be the difference. The Aggies scored 23-points off of turnovers and finished with 4 players scoring over 10-points with forward Brani Leal and guard Jade Herl combing for 36 of their 78-points.

“We want to move on and get a win,” said Scott. “We have two more chances to do that and we will see what happens.”

With the Javelinas sitting at the bottom of the Lone Star Conference, a win at Midwestern State and Angelo still gives them hope of getting into the LSC tournament. With Scott still searching for his first win as head coach, he knows time is running out but the window to succeed is still open.

“If we can get a win in both of those games then we make things interesting,” said Scott. “We can slip into that 8th spot and get into the conference tournament but if not, we still want to get a win because nobody wants to go winless in a season.”

With just two games left in the regular season and with a chance to finish 0-26 for the first time in school history, all it takes is one leader to make a difference and give her team a reason to believe. The Javelinas will look to capture their first win of the season with their final road trip of the season starting in Wichita Falls, Texas.

“Going into Midwestern, I know we can overcome them if we execute,” said Jay. “If we can score and rebound we will have a chance. They are a good team but so are we.”

Photo courtesy Javelina Athletics

Although they outscored their opponent 50-38 in the second half, it was not enough as the Texas A&M University men’s basketball team fell to Tarleton State University 75-70 in a Lone Star Conference matchup that came down to the wire.

With TSU coming out firing on all cylinders, the Hogs found themselves down as many as 15 points in the first-half. The Texans showed why they were ranked second in the conference and TaShawn Mabry showed why his teammates rely on him to score when needed. The 6’6 Jr. Forward finished with 16-points on 7-11 shooting from the floor.

“I feel like the first half wasn’t good enough and our team was pretty upset about that,” said Jr. Forward Duan Wright who led the Javelinas with 15-points. “Coach Estelle was telling us we needed to step up and told us that we needed to step up the challenge.”

For the Texans, the double scoring threat of Mabry and Michael Hardge was what set the game apart as the two combined for 32-points on 5-8 shooting from 3-point land.

“We didn’t adjust well to them in the first half,” Wright said. “They also made free throws and had a lot of big offensive rebounds.”

Led by Wright, Dj Weathers and Troy Jones, the Javelinas closed in on the Texans with a 12-2 run hoping to have their biggest comeback of the season. Although the three Javelinas combined for 38-points in the game, points off turnovers was the difference as the Texans scored 21-points off Javelina loose balls. Free throws and offensive rebounds by TSU also proved to be a factor for the Javelinas loss.

“Our comeback keeps us hungry and it also keeps is humble knowing we had them beat in the second half,” said Wright.

With the loss the Javelinas are now 7-16 overall and 2-9 in the LSC with another conference matchup with Cameron University only 4 days away.

“We need to focus on the things we did well and the things we didn’t do well,” said Wright. “We can only learn from the past so we won’t make the same mistakes in the future.”

After an impressive first half that gave the Javelina fans hopes of pulling what would have been the upset of the season, the Texas A&M University-Kingsville men’s basketball team fell to the No. 8 ranked team in the nation and No. 1 in the Lone Star Conference, Angelo State University 85-67.

The Javelinas had their work cut out against the highest shooting team in the LSC as the Rams shot 52% from the floor, led by Guard Chris Jones who finished the night with 23 points to lead the Rams and extend the Javelinas losing streak to four games

“They are a good team and well coached and we executed well but in the second-half they made a nice run,” said Forward Troy Jones.

The Javelinas found themselves down as many as 12 points in the first-half and maintained balance with the heavily favored Rams throughout the course of the period led by Duan Wright,  who led the Javelinas in scoring a week ago and also led his team again with 16-points in the loss. Led by Wright and Jones, who pitched in 12 points of his own and despite missed free throws and turnovers, the Hoggies found themselves down only 7 points at the half.

“I was proud of our guys and how they played in the first-half but it came down to missed free throws,” said head coach Johnny Estelle. Angelo State is a really good team and they wear you down and they are well coached and as for our guys, they are getting better and they are right there and I really like where our fight and heart is.”

The Javelinas finished the night shooting 18-34 from the free throw line and only managed to score 13 points off the bench.

“We played shorthanded but these are good kids and as a coach we just have to give them hope,” said Estelle. “Some of the character that we have on this team tells me that I would not rather be doing this with anyone else.”

With the loss the Javelinas are now 6-13 and 1-6 in the LSC. Up next for coach Estelle and company will be the Eastern New Mexico University Greyhounds, who TAMUK was able to defeat 75-67 in Portales, New Mexico on January 14th.

“We have to have a short term memory and forget this one and get ready for the next one,” said Estelle. “We will look at film and make corrections and set up a game plan for Eastern New Mexico on pack the house night and hopefully we will have a packed house with Javelina Nation supporting us.”

The Texas A&M University-Kingsville Javelina women’s basketball team kicked off their Lone Star Conference portion of their schedule facing off against the Texas Woman’s University Pioneers at Kingsville’s Hampton Inn Court.

The Javelinas were out-rebounded 52-28 against the Pioneers on their way to their 11th straight loss to begin the season 43-57 against Texas Woman’s.

The Javelinas LSC record stands at 0-1 while Texas Woman’s overall record improved to 9-5 and 2-1 in the LSC.

The game started off tight for both teams as they traded baskets back and forth until the Pioneers opened up with an 8-0 run sparked by the play of sophomore forward Emily Spector giving the Pioneers a 16-9 lead with 7:48 till halftime.

Spector, who dropped five points in the 8-0 run eventually finished the game as the Pioneers leading scorer with 16 points.

The Javelinas got within seven points of the Pioneers before halftime with baskets from forward Lauren Jay and a corner three point shot from guard Alexis Copeland made the score 15-22 with 3:25 till halftime.

The Pioneers ended the half on a 4-0 run to take a halftime lead of 26-15 over the Javelinas.

In the second half the Javelinas stayed with the Pioneers the majority of the way behind the shooting of Jay and guard Ashley Viera. Viera added two free throws after a Jay reverse layup brought the Javelinas to within 10 points trailing 23-33 with 12:46 left in the game.

Texas Woman’s went on to go on a 15-4 run from the 11:56 mark till the media timeout with 7:33 left in the game to give Texas Woman’s a commanding 26-46 lead.

A lead the Pioneers would not relinquish in route to a 57-43 victory.

The post play of the Pioneers proved to be too much for the Javelinas to handle getting outscored 42-22 in the paint while giving up 15 points off of 18 turnovers for the Javelinas.

Second chance points proved to be a difference maker with the Pioneers outscoring the Javelinas 19-8.

Micah Weaver led the Javelinas with 15 points, four rebounds and a career high three blocks. Lauren Jay added seven points with five rebounds, two steals and two blocks.

Head coach Wade Scott said that the team must come out to compete and make shots in order to beat Texas A&M Commerce on Jan. 8.

“At first we defended pretty well but we couldn’t score. When we got scoring a little bit we couldn’t guard anybody. It made defending hard because the points in the paint are coming off of rebounds and they’re two feet away.” Scott said.

“We’re going to have to execute (against Commerce) we’re going to have to score points, we can’t go 7 for 22 in the first half. That’s what’s killing us.” Scott added.

Tip off against Commerce is set for 5:30 p.m. on Jan. 8.

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Forward Troy Jones drives the lane against Henderson State, Jones finished the game with nine points and four rebounds.
Forward Troy Jones drives the lane against Henderson State, Jones finished the game with nine points and four rebounds.

The Texas A&M University men’s basketball team began the 2014-2015 season with a win against the Lake Erie Strom in a double overtime thriller 96-93, giving new Head Coach Johnny Estelle a win on his debut, as the TAMUK crowd packed the house at Hampton Inn Court on Nov. 14.

TAMUK would go on to lose their next matchup on Nov. 16 against Henderson State, the Javelinas who were down as many as 14 points, managed to grab a 5 point lead but could not hold on, as the Reddies hung on to win 65-61.

In their matchup with the Storm, the Javelinas went up as many as 10 points in the first half, before Lake Erie tied the game and would go on to take a 5 point lead before things were all tied up at the half.

Down the stretch of the game baskets were traded by both the Storm and the Javelinas.

With Jamar Goodwin and Jordan Jahr catching fire for TAMUK, so did Jamil Dudley for the Storm who finished with 30-points in the night. With TAMUK leading by 3 with seconds remaining, Dudley connected on his fifth three-pointer to force the second OT of the night.

In the second OT, it was Jordan Jahr and Troy Jones who scored 8 points in the overtime periods and led their team to victory.

“We executed down the stretch and the free throws were crucial,” said Estelle. “I am extremely proud of our guys putting together the effort they did. We came up with some huge stops and make shots when we needed to.

Up next for TAMUK, was HSU, who took control from the opening tip not allowing the Javelinas to get into rhythm. After taking a commanding 14-point lead into halftime, TAMUK would look to respond through Goodwin and Jahr. The two would combine for 34 points in the loss.

After holding the HSU scoreless during a 5 minute stretch to start the second half. they would finally connect on a three-pointer for its second field goal of the second half to take a 45-40 lead just minutes into the half. The Reddies bounced back in the homestretch and the Javelinas could not convert as HSU sealed the victory, 65-61.

We were not prepared today and we did not play to the best of our ability against a tough opponent,» Estelle said. «The defense was not as good as it needed to be and the five three-pointers Kevin Kozan hit really kept Henderson State in the game. I believe we will bounce back. We will continue to improve as a unit.»

Up next for the Javelinas, will be St. Mary’s University, where TAMUK will look to bounce back with a win, before they travel on the road to Edinburg.

“We can’t let this one drag on we need to look at film and learn from mistakes and turn the page,” Estelle said. We need to get ready to play and if we turn the page and get to work the next day, we will have a chance to win.”

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