LUBBOCK, Texas (February 20, 2020) – It was as close as four points with just over five minutes to go on Thursday night, but Lubbock Christian pulled away late and beat Texas A&M-International by a comfortable score of 74-60 in the Rip Griffin Center.
The win moved the Chaps to 16-8 overall this season and 13-6 in Lone Star Conference play. They are also 10-3 in games played on their home court.
Both teams struggled offensively to start the game, but LCU got on the board first with an and-one layup three minutes into the game. The Chaps then hit three straight three-pointers, two of which came from Hicks, to jump out to a 10-point lead at the 15:11 mark. There would be no blowout though, as TAMIU quickly cut the deficit back to just two points.
LCU did not shoot particularly well during the opening 20 minutes, hitting just 41 percent of their shots, including only 35 percent from behind the arc. LCU did play excellent defense though, holding TAMIU to just 34.6 percent shooting, including just 20 percent on three-pointers. Lubbock Christian’s largest lead of the game came in the first half, when a Daniels three-pointer put them up by 17 with 3:16 left before the break, but Texas A&M-International closed the half with six straight points to send the teams into the locker room with an 11-point gap.
In the second half, it was TAMIU’s turn to open the scoring with an and-one layup, as Jorge Mejia-Sanchez got to the line and got three points the hard way. Hicks and Ty Caswell hit three-pointers in response and Rashaan Proctor made a layup with the Chaps seemingly in total control until the 15:55 mark.
At that point, Dustdevil Tom Higgins made a layup that sparked an 8-0 Texas A&M International run, bringing them within six points just a minute later. Hicks and Aamer Muhammad got buckets to keep the Chaps out in front, but the Dustdevils would not go away.
With just six minutes to go before the game ended, TAMIU made another push, scoring six straight points to pull within four. It was again Hicks who stopped the run, hitting a pull-up jumper before getting to the free-throw line on back-to-back possessions.
Hicks was dominant in the win, setting a new career-high with 28 points on 10-17 shooting. He also pulled down a team-high 11 rebounds, giving him just his second double-double of the season.
The Chaps ended up closing the game out on a 13-5 run in the final four minutes of the game, with all of the points coming from Daniels and Hicks, including an emphatic dunk from Daniels with four seconds left for the exclamation point on a hard-fought win.
Hicks scored six straight points all by himself with just over three minutes to go, stealing any momentum that TAMIU had built and crushing their final comeback effort.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
Three Chap starters finished in double-figures with Hicks’ 28, Daniels scoring 19 and Rashaan Proctor adding in 11. LCU did not use much help from the bench though, as only Aamer Muhammad and Silas Crisler were used as reserves and added in just eight points combined.
The final home game of the regular season will take place on Saturday, as Lubbock Christian hosts Texas A&M-Kingsville at 3 p.m. in the Rip Griffin Center. LCU will honor its lone senior, Rashaan Proctor, in a ceremony prior to the start of the game.
Courtesy: Lubbock Christian Athletics