Esteban BustillosManaging Editor
Parthasarathy S.K.Mercury Staff
The men’s basketball team (9-3, 4-3 ASC) earned their second straight win with a 74-58 victory over East Texas Baptist (9-2, 4-2 ASC).
UTD came roaring out of the gates with a 17-2 run to start the game. This early performance was a harbinger for the rest of the half as the Comets shot 50 percent to the Tigers lowly 28.6. UTD finished the half with a solid 39-25 lead.
Head coach Terry Butterfield said this early performance helped them later in the game.
“When you get off to a hot start like that, it’s awfully difficult to maintain it throughout the course of the game, but it really kind of sends the message about how the game is going to unfold,” he said.
In the second half, ETBU was able to come back and find it’s feet offensively, hitting 40 percent of its field goals. Defensively, the Tigers hunkered down and started to put a full court press on the Comets that forced them to cough up the ball, leading to several easy baskets for the Tigers.
Still, despite their renewed presence in the second half, the Tigers never managed to come within 10 points of the Comets, who hit 52.2 percent of their field goals and picked up 4 threes.
Leading the Comets was senior guard Rafael Farley, who had 25 points and 8 rebounds. Farley was also hot from beyond the arc, going 4 of 8 from three point land.
He said preparation was the key to his success.
“All week we’ve been preparing well for this team. We knew how good of a team they were. They’re one of the hottest teams in the league. Just preparation,” he said.
He said the team wanted to maintain and play great defense during the second half.
Other standouts for UTD included senior guards Matt Medell and Nolan Harvey, who had 17 and 13 points, respectively. Sophomore forward Kyle Coulter had 14 points and 9 rebounds, while freshman forward Reagan Keogh also picked up 5 rebounds.
Butterfield said the victory against ETBU, who only had one loss heading into the game, showed them that they can be in the conversation of the best teams in the league.
“They knew this was a hot team coming in,” he said. “They know they had just been down to Mary Hardin and beaten Mary Hardin by 20 on their home floor, which is very hard to do. I’m excited for our guys the way that they approached this one.”
The Comets next game is against LeTourneau at 3 p.m. on Jan. 10.