Rams fall short to no. 23 ranked WTAMU

Basketball: Boys drop to 3-2

By Andy Atterbury
On January 28, 2011

  • Freshman Andre Adams attempts to block WTAMU from scoring. Pam Belcher
  • Freshman Andre Adams attempts to block WTAMU from scoring. Pam Belcher

For the second consecutive home game the Rams (7-10) (3-2) took on a ranked opponent. They went hoop-to hoop-with No. 23 West Texas A&M Saturday, Jan. 22 and lost 59-62.

"This was a winnable game," Head Coach Fred Rike said. "Rankings at this time of the year are deceiving. I think there are teams in our league that aren't ranked that are just as good."

Junior guard Joey Lenox came off the bench and led the Rams with 18 points.

"We played good at times," Lenox said. "We played eight good minutes of defense in the first half and that's what got us our lead."

Senior guard Steven Moore finished with 12 points and four assists while senior forward Ridge McKeither led the team with 10 boards and had 8 points.

Back-to-back Ram three-pointers gave the team a 15-9 lead just over eight minutes deep in the first half. The Rams had up to a 10-point lead in the first half and led 31-30 at halftime.

"I didn't think we played great," Rike said. "I think WT came up with big rebounds and crucial baskets at certain times in the game when we didn't."

WTAMU (14-2) (1-2) kept the game close and there were five lead changes in the second half.

Fouls, giving up points in the paint, and losing offensive rebounds let the Buffalos back in the game, Lenox said.

"Our record doesn't indicate that we're as good as we are," Lenox said. "We know how good we can play, we know what we're capable of. We just have to bring it out."

Down 50-57 with 4:30 left in the game, the Rams rallied within two but fell a three- pointer short at the buzzer.

 "In games when jump shots aren't going in you've got to find another way to help the team," Rike said. "Defensively, I thought we had some lapses."

The Rams traveled Wednesday to Portales, NM to play Eastern New Mexico.

"We're going to play a team that beat WT at WT," Rike said. "I don't know if they're any better than WT but they are much improved… Portales is a tough place to play and we have to get our guys ready and bounce back."

Lenox isn't looking forward to going to New Mexico, but is looking forward to getting a win.

"It will be a better bus ride coming back with a win," Lenox said.

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