Thursday, December 9, 2010

West Texas A&M Cruises Past Rhema Bible, 94-40

Five Buffaloes hit double-figure scoring totals

CANYON, Texas – Kendall Cogburn and Rod Little scored 12 points apiece as the West Texas A&M Buffaloes took a 94-40, nonconference win over Rhema Bible, Thursday evening at the First United Bank Center in Canyon, Texas.

The win lifts WTAMU to 7-0 on the year, marking the first time the Buffaloes have opened a season with seven consecutive wins since doing so at the start of the 1997-98 Elite Eight campaign.  The loss drops Rhema to 1-11.

The 40 points allowed was the fewest points allowed by the Buffaloes since holding Oklahoma Panhandle State to 40 in a 65-40 win on Dec. 18, 2008.  The Buffs’ 54 point margin of victory was the largest since taking a 45 point win over Southeastern Oklahoma State on Jan. 3, 2008 (WT 82, SOSU 37).  Prior to tonight, the Buffaloes’ largest margin of victory this season was a 26-point win at Oklahoma Panhandle State on Nov. 29 (WT 86, OPSU 60).

Tonight’s contest also saw no fewer than 12 WT players see at least 10 minutes of action.

Cogburn’s 12 points represented a career-high, while he also saw a career-high 21 minutes of action.

In addition to Cogburn, Mason White tallied career-high point totals (10), as did Justin Tubb (4 points).  Tubb also posted a career-best rebounding performance, with five boards.

“This was a good win for us because it allowed us to play some kids that haven’t seen a lot of playing time to this point,” said WT head coach Rick Cooper.  “Everyone works hard in practice and some of the guys deserve to play more than they have to this point.”

The Buffaloes jumped to 12-0 start, forcing four Rhema turnovers over the first 4:52.  The Eagles first bucket came on a Caylan Andre layup at the 15:16 mark of the first half.

The lead grew to as many as 30 points, 47-17, at the half.

“We played good, defensively, tonight,” Cooper said. “We rebounded pretty well and we guarded the perimeter well.  That contributed to some of the bigger scoring runs we had.”

WT came out of the halftime break and proceeded to score the first 21 points of the second half, running their lead to 41 points at 68-17.  Rhema’s Steven Anibal hit a three-pointer at the 12:47 mark to account for the Eagles’ first points of the half.

The Buffs would extend the lead to as many as 62 points, leading 86-24 with 6:05 remaining.

It was Rhema guard Anibal who gave the Eagles a late-game lift, hitting a pair of three’s to close the margin to 54 points at 92-38 with just under a minute remaining.

The Buffs saw five players hit double-digit scoring totals, as Cogburn and Rod Little each hit 12, Jacquiese Holcombe and Lionel Foster each had 11 and Mason White tallied 10 points.  White and Justin Tubb had a team-high five rebounds apiece.

WT shot 58.6 percent from the floor and hit 83.3 percent from the line.  For the game, the Buffs committed 13 turnovers.

Rhema Bible was paced by Anibal’s 13 points.  Jacob De La Garza had a team-leading five rebounds.  The Eagles shot 26.2 percent, the lowest field goal percentage allowed by WT thus far in 2010-11, while hitting just 66.7 percent from the foul line.  The Eagles also turned the ball over  23 times.

The Buffaloes’ travel to Commerce, Texas, Saturday, Dec. 11, when they visit Texas A&M-Commerce. Tipoff at the Texas A&M-Commerce Field House is set for 7 p.m. CST.

“We need to get back down to earth real quick,” Cooper said. “Texas A&M-Commerce is capable of doing to us like we did tonight.  We’re going to have our hands full on Saturday.”

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