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Hilltop Views

The Student News Site of St. Edward's University

Hilltop Views

The Student News Site of St. Edward's University

Hilltop Views

GAME DAY: Men’s basketball earns hard-fought victory against Texas A&M International University

Emilio Casanova / Hilltop Views
Junior guard Jayden Johnston prepares to attempt a three-pointer. Sophomore center Sean Elkinton blocks the Dustdevils’ defense to leave him open to shoot. Johnston had a total of eight points and four rebounds.

St. Edward’s hosted Texas A&M International University on Feb. 3 and took a 72-66 win, marking their second victory against TAMIU this season. 

The Dustdevils took an early lead in the first three minutes of gameplay after a tough back and forth, but sophomore Sean Elkinton and junior Gavino Ramos refused to let it persist, taking the lead at 9-6 and keeping it for the rest of the game. 

The Hilltoppers held a sturdy defense before halftime, forcing turnovers and sloppy shots from TAMIU. Snappy passes and swift movement led to some outstanding plays by SEU, including junior Blake Nielsen’s impressive spin that took down his coverage, followed up with a deep jumper.

Elkinton commanded the paint, rejecting Dustdevil shots and taking five total rebounds in the first half. Ramos and Nielsen held a combined 27 points and nine assists at the half, accounting for over half of both the Hilltoppers’ points and assists. SEU led the game 47-31 at halftime. 

“There was lots of continued movement from our wings, and especially Sean [Elkinton], he’s always been good with me as a little combo,” Nielsen said. “Our wings were cutting really aggressively today and finishing around the rim.”

After the half, however, the Dustdevils began an upward trajectory.

A series of missed shots and messy turnovers let TAMIU get within two points at 57-53 with nine minutes to spare. Head Coach Andre Cook commented on the difference in performance between halves.

“I think it’s human nature to not wanna step on somebody when they’re down,” Cook said. “But we should know better, because if you let TAMIU have an inch, they’re gonna keep fighting.”

Some clutch layups from Elkinton and clean passes from senior Bennett Mohn brought the lead back up to 66-61 with less than five minutes left in the game.

After a hard struggle both ways and the score sitting at 68-66 with less than a minute remaining, Ramos hit both of his free throws following a foul in the bonus and sophomore Jamison Kay put back a missed layup for the final points of the game. The final score was 72-66. 

Ramos led the game with 19 points and three steals; Nielsen led in assists at six; and Elkinton accounted for eight rebounds, most on the team. 

The team will be playing at Dallas Baptist University on Feb. 8, and then at the University of Texas at Tyler on Feb. 10. The full schedule can be found online

“Quite honestly, we’re better on the road,” Cook said. “And these guys know that.”

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Max Hoelker
Max Hoelker, Copy Editor
Max is a sophomore English literature major with a minor in psychology. Although this is his first year with Hilltop Views, he is ecstatic to dive into writing, editing and all things in between. In his limited free time, Max loves to spend time with friends and read.

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