The Abilene Christian men's basketball team trimmed a 20-point halftime deficit all the way down to three, but could not get any closer as the Texas A&M-Kingsville Javelinas held on for a 74-65 win Saturday afternoon at Hampton Inn Court.
The loss dropped ACU back to .500 at 8-8 overall and 2-6 within the Lone Star Conference, while Kingsville improved to 9-6 and 5-3 (LSC).
The Javelinas - led by Rashad Basey's 24 points - were hot from the start, shooting over 60 percent in the first half (14-23) to build a 38-18 lead going into the break. Basey made 7-of-13 field goals and was 10-of-12 from the free-throw line.
Basey was the only Kingsville player to reach double figures, while the Wildcats had four. and each had 17 points, recorded a double-double of 12 points and 11 rebounds and contributed 11.
ACU started its comeback right out of the second-half gate as Lawton hit a jumper 23 seconds in on his first attempt. Lloyd then sank three-straight free throws and Werner buried a jumper to cap a 7-1 run that reduced the Javelina lead to 13.
Minutes later the Wildcats cut their deficit to single digits after Lloyd nailed a trey at the 14:51 mark, but Kingsville pushed its advantage back to 12 following back-to-back baskets by Basey and Daymon Warren.
Around the 9:00 minute mark, ACU received seven-straight points from Werner that made it a six-point game at 54-48, and then inside six minutes, the Wildcats got to within three on Lawton's layup that forced Kingsville into a timeout.
The Javelinas received a quick basket by Basey right out of the break that ignited a four-minute 11-3 run, which also included a timely 3-pointer from Reid Wallace and a layup by Adam Mughmaw that essentially sealed the game with a minute remaining.
The Wildcats wouldn't hit another field goal until Lawton sank a 3-pointer with 23 seconds to go. Kingsville couldn't make a basket either, but did hit five of its last six free throws after starting the game 13-23.
The Wildcats return to action Wednesday at Angelo State.
Information provided by ACU athletics department.