The Texas Wesleyan men’s basketball team started the season by defeating the University of the Southwest (New Mexico) 73-62 on Thursday at the Sid Richardson Center.

Fans were encouraged to attend in their Halloween costumes; the first 100 attendees received a free T-shirt.

SGA Vice President Karen Duarte-Escobar said that the first period of the game was very interesting.

“Our home is at 29 points and our visitors are currently at 27 so right now we’re in the lead,” Duarte-Escobar said. “There have been a lot of good steals, a lot of fouls, a lot of excitement from the crowd. We’ve been sitting in the same row as President Slabach, that’s really exciting! Seeing him watching and be active in our sports community at Wesleyan is really nice.”

SGA Representative At-Large Le Huynh said she had a great time.

“I enjoy watching basketball so this is a great experience,” Huynh said. “I hope our team wins and happy Halloween!”

Junior guard Davon Berry said the team had to battle through adversity to finish strong.

“It was tough,” Berry said. “We had to get those first game jitters out, that’s all.”

Berry contributed by shooting multiple free throws in both halves of the game; he scored seven points, according to ramsports.net. He said one thing the team could have done better was the shooting, but their defense was on point.

“We have a lot of shooters and we didn’t make a lot of shots today,” he said. “Our defense, though, led to a lot of our buckets, and we stayed together. Together we were supportive with each other and kept each other up. We gotta keep that up.”

Men’s basketball coach Brennen Shingleton said there were a ton of mistakes made, but the team played hard, which is what matters.

“We won and we learned a lot about ourselves tonight,” Shingleton said. “We gotta shoot free throws better, we gotta work on the things that we’re good at and just keep pushing along, you know? We needed to knock off some of the rust and figure it out but the good thing is we got through it and won and we’re on to the next one.”

Shingleton said his defense contributed largely to the team’s win.

“Defense is what held us together tonight,” he said. “Our offense is gonna be a little shaky early on just because we have so many new guys so we’re just having to figure it out. Slowly but surely we’ll get better.”

The Rams will play Jarvis Christian College at 7 p.m. Monday in the Sid Richardson Center. The Lady Rams open their season Saturday against Tarleton State University in Stephenville; game time is 6:30 p.m. Their first home game is 5:30 p.m. Tuesday against Arlington Baptist University. For more information, go to ramsports.net.