I was back on the hard court again this last Wednesday for the Angelo State University games against Lone Star Conference foe Eastern New Mexico at the Junell Center. I've not shot many ASU games this season and was happy that I was able to stay in town to cover some local sports. Both the men and women teams have seen some success this season, though I wouldn't classify it as a great year overall.
Oddly enough I really wasn't there to cover the games so much as the head coach for the women's team, Sally Brooks, as she was on track to win her 400th career game as a head coach. I shot plenty of photos of the game to run as the centerpiece for the next day's paper, but my main focus was Coach Brooks. I had been sent to cover the ASU games a week ago to have photos ready of Coach Brooks for publication, but the team went on a losing streak. Just as well, I guess, because now she had a chance to win in front of a home crowd, though I'm sure the Rambelles would have preferred to have a few more wins under their belt than wait until a home game for Coach Brooks to win her 400th.
The women's game started out very slow going back and forth for the first 20 minutes of play and eventually ending in an unremarkable 18-18 tie at the half. That score is more like something you would see at a high school game, not a college game. But, the Rambelles were able to find some footing in the second half and squeaked out a seven-point win at the final buzzer. Coach Brooks now had her 400th win in hand. I'll go into a little more detail about that later in my next post.
The men's game, on the other hand, was a different story. First, there was some debate on whether or not I was going to cover the men's game at all. Starting just recently, on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday the Standard-Times only publishes one edition. Normally we publish two editions of the paper, one local edition for Tom Green County and a state edition for our surrounding counties. The second edition is where all of the late ballgames are published. Since the ASU games were being played on a Wednesday, the men's game was not going to be finished in time to allow the reporter time to chase down players and coaches for interviews to make the deadline for the first and only edition of the day.
Like I said, my main objective for the night was to get photos of the women's coach, Sally Brooks, for a possible feature story for Sunday if she were to win her 400th game. But I came in late to work that day and still had several hours to fill on my shift so I decided to stay and shoot the men's game. At the very least I could post a photo gallery on our website.
The Rams seemed to have the game in hand all night ending the first half with a 37-28 lead.They increased that lead to 17 points in the second half, but with just 16 minutes left in regulation, Eastern New Mexico began to chip away at the deficit and tied the game 75-75 sending the game into overtime. Eastern New Mexico dominated the extra period going on a 12-6 run to win 87-81. The Rams, already on a three-game losing streak, needed the win to stay alive in conference play, but it was not to be. It was a mixed bag of emotions for ASU fans that night.