KINGSVILLE, TEXAS – For the first time since the 2000-01 season, the Texas A&M-Kingsville women’s basketball team has secured a winning season after defeating Lone Star Conference South Division rival Eastern New Mexico University on Wednesday night, 82-66 in the Steinke Center. (box score)
The last time the Javelinas (14-10, 4-5) had a winning season came when the 2000-01 team went 27-7 en route to advancing to the NCAA Division II Elite Eight, the best finish ever by a Hoggie team.
In the first half, the Zias (9-19, 0-10) hung around with the Javelinas thanks to some excellent three-point shooting. They knocked down 6-of-13 shots from behind the arc, but still trailed 38-33 at the half.
Late in the first half, the Javelina defense started to make it presence felt as they held the Zias without a field goal over the final 4:32 of the half. The defense kept up the pressure to start the second half and held ENMU scoreless over the first 5:50. Over that 10 minute stretch the Hoggies raised their lead from three points to 13 points.
The Javelinas struggled from the floor in the first half making just 37.0 percent of their shots, but they started rolling in the second half. Junior guard Ursula Hill (Cypress/Cy-Fair HS) connected on back-to-back three-pointers early in the second half and the team was off and running. Senior center LaKeisha Jones (Winnsboro, LA/Crowville HS) scored 14 of her game high 22 points in the second half. Over the final 11 minutes of the game the Zias never got closer than 14 points.
The Javelinas finished the game shooting 44.6 percent from the floor, made 5-of-18 three-point attempts and were 27-for-34 at the foul line. Jones finished 9-for-16 from the field and chipped in six rebounds. Hill added 13 points and four assists off the bench while Tammi Mitchell (Tyler/John Tyler HS) put in 10 points off the bench. Angela Franklin (Vacaville, CA/Vanden HS) added nine points and a team high eight rebounds. The Hoggies pulled down four more rebounds and committed four fewer turnovers than the visitors.
The Zias had five players score between nine and 11 points. Karen Grant led the team with 11 points off the bench while Alex Ortiz added 10 points and three assists. The team shot 37.7 percent from the field, made 8-of-24 three-pointers and was 12-of-19 from the charity stripe.
The Javelinas remain a half game behind fourth place Tarleton State in the LSC South Division standings. The team is back in action on Saturday when they travel to #7 West Texas A&M for a 6 o’clock tip-off.