SPORTS: Dustdevils win Senior Night

SPORTS: Dustdevils win Senior Night

By Vicente Mendoza
Sports Editor
Published Tuesday, March 26, 2024

The TAMIU men’s basketball team faced its conference rival University of Texas-Tyler in the final home game on Senior Night. The final score was 64-56 with the Dustdevils on top.

When the Feb. 17 game started, the team’s energy was high coming off a celebration for the seniors prior to the game. Texas A&M International University began with an 8-0 run on offense, and showed real promise in the starting moments of the game.

TAMIU men's basketball
Cris Rios | Bridge
TAMIU junior forward Olaverr Camacho (15) leaps to defend against UT-Tyler junior forward Juan Pablo Camargo (15), as TAMIU junior guard Shannon Strickland (3) looks on during a Feb. 17 home game.

While TAMIU started off hot, the team could not keep it up and allowed UT-Tyler to also go on a run. The Swoop Eagles were able to come back up and lead with a score of 14-11 over the Dustdevils.

While this is not what TAMIU expected, center Olaver Camacho was not phased.

“We knew from the start it was going to be a hard game because it’s hard to beat a team twice in a row, and we knew Tyler was going to give one of their best shots,” Camacho said.

Despite the Dustdevils running through a rough spot, they were able to claw their way back at the end of the first half. The first half ended with TAMIU going 36-30 over UT-Tyler. 

The  leaders stepped up to bring the team to victory. Camacho took leadership, putting his defensive skills on full display. Camacho was recently selected as the best defensive player in the conference the week prior, and with his defensive efforts he helped TAMIU make this a close game.

“I wanna keep playing at a great level consistently,” Camacho said. “So, I could help the team for a chance to go to Frisco for the Lone Star Conference Tournament.”

Camacho’s leadership and defensive skills pushed TAMIU throughout the second half. The game turned out to be a nailbiter. The conference rivals gave their all, giving each other daggers, hoping to knock each other out.

“After the first half, we just stuck together in the locker room and said to ourselves that we are going to come out and give them some 20 minutes of hard defense so we could win the war in every aspect of the game,” Camacho said.

This mentality pushed to the very end, and it came down to who would let up first; after a hard fight, TAMIU won. This win was bittersweet for the Dustdevils.

While it was the final home game for the team, this was also the final home game ever for many of the seniors.

“This team is strong, and right now we are playing for those seniors because we want them to leave on a high note,” Camacho said. “The fact that it is their last stretch with us just brought us closer together, and we’re definitely willing to give it all for them.”


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