The men’s basketball team played in its final home game of the season against Incarnate Word Wednesday evening, but fell by a score of 89-75.
The Wildcats put on a fair shooting performance making 32 shots on 63 attempts for a rate of 51 percent and made 6-of-18 three pointers attempted.
However, the men struggled to get enough defensive pressure on Incarnate Word as it put on a stellar offensive game posting a 62 percent field goal percentage and converting nine of its 19 shots behind the arc.
The game started out neck and neck as each team was able to keep the score at a one possession deficit until the 5:57 mark of the first half.
With the score at 31-28 in favor of the Cardinals, they were able to extend their lead by going on a 12-6 run and closed out the first half with a comfortable 43-34 lead.
The men made a strong push to cut into the deficit after halftime, opening the half on a 16-9 run to get the score to 52-50 at the 12:26 mark of the second half.
The Wildcats were able to keep up for the next three minutes of the half and came within one point at the 9:15 mark 61-60.
But the men went cold and allowed the Cardinals to score nine straight points before sophomore forward Hayden Howell was fouled and made two free throws at the 5:45 mark.
After Howell’s free throws, Incarnate Word outscored the men 19-13 for the rest of the game and secured the victory, 89-75.
Sophomore guard B.J. Maxwell talked about the struggles in Wednesday’s game.
“Last night’s game was a tough loss because we needed that win to have a chance to make a postseason season tournament,” Maxwell said. “Key mistakes to our loss last night was guarding the ball and transition defense. We weren’t locked in from the start.”
Howell came off the bench and led the men in scoring last night and put up a career-high 16 points.
Maxwell also stood out recording 13 points and earning six rebounds off the bench.
Jalin Hart was impressive for Incarnate Word as he scored 23 points in the winning effort and Shawn Johnson came close to a double-double scoring 14 points and grabbing 9 rebounds.
The Wildcats will head to Houston this weekend to close out the season.
Sophomore guard Jaren Lewis said it’s going to be important for the team to end the season with a win.
“We know we don’t want to end the season with a bad taste in our mouths,” Lewis said.
This will be the first meeting of the two teams this season.