TAMUC – Sports

Sports

A&M Commerce

SOFTBALL

Lions defeat Tarleton State 4-1 in first game of series

STEPHENVILLE– The Texas A&M University-Commerce softball team picked up a 4-1 win in the first of a three-game series against Tarleton State on Friday night. The Lions scored two runs in both the third and fourth innings to get the victory.

The win brings the Lions to 9-2 on the season and 1-0 in the Lone Star Conference. The Texanns fall to 7-5 and 0-1 in conference play.

The teams will meet again on Saturday for a doubleheader matchup. The games will begin at 1 and 3 p.m. at the TSU Softball Complex.

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
– Mariah Jameyson went 2-for-4, including a double that scored two runs in the top of the third inning.
– Baylea Higgs went 2-for-4 and drove in a run in the top of the fourth inning. She also scored a run.
– Ciera Nunez scored a run in the third inning and had a RBI in the fourth inning.
– Katie Dean got her fifth win of the season, pitching two strikeouts and recording 11 groundouts in 5.2 innings pitched.
– Sierra Abbott got her third save of the season, getting two ground outs and two fly outs.
– TSU committed four errors while the Lions did not commit a mistake. Both teams had eight hits.

HOW IT HAPPENED
The Lions had their first batter reach on an error, but subsequent groundouts halted any chance of getting a run to cross the plate. On the other side of the inning, Dean forced two groundouts of her own before a two-out double had the Texanns in a position to do some damage. After consecutive walks had loaded the bases, the Lion defense scooped up another ground ball and got the out at first to keep the game scoreless after one inning.

Both teams went three-up and three-down in the second inning. The Lions opened up the scoring in the top of the third inning. With one out, Nunez got an infield single. She stole second base, and a single from Higgs advanced her to third. She also stole second base, and the Lions had runners on second and third. Jameyson came to the plate and smacked a pitch to left center, driving in both runners to give the Lions a 2-0 lead.

The first two runners reached for TSU in the bottom of the third. A sacrifice bunt got both runners into scoring position with only one out. Dean went to work and struck out the next batter and then forced a groundout to third base. Precious Thompson stepped on the bag to get the third out.

The Lions continued their push in the fourth inning. Johnna Sturm had a leadoff single, and then Thompson reached on an error. With runners on the corners, Thompson then stole second base. After a strikeout, Nunez came to the plate and grounded out to second base, but a run crossed the plate. Higgs was up next and singled to left field to drive in Thompson. Higgs stole second base but was unable to get around, and the Lions led 4-0 midway through the contest.

The Texanns got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fourth inning. After the leadoff batter had lined out, the next batter drove the ball down the right field line and was safe at second base with a double. After another out, the next batter singled up the middle. The Lions threw home, and the runner advanced to second base. With two runners in scoring position, Savannah Stech singled to right field to drive in a run. However, that was all the Texanns could muster as the Lions led 4-1 after four innings.

That ended the scoring as it was a defensive affair the rest of the way. The Lions again had a hitter reach on an error, and then Chealsea Slider got a base hit to put two runners on in the top of the fifth, but the Lions could not get the runners around.

Both teams went without runners for an inning before the Texanns looked to make a late rally in the bottom of the sixth inning. After downing the first two batters, the Texanns got back-to-back singles to get runners on base. Looking to halt a two-out rally, the Lions went to the bullpen, and Abbott forced a fly out to end the inning.

In the top of the seventh Jameyson got a hit but the Lions could not capitalize and went into the bottom of the inning with a three-run lead. The Texanns looked to get something started with a leadoff single but Abbott retired the next three batters, and the Lions won the game.

 

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

Lions score 20 unanswered to knock off TWU 80-70, post second-best win total in school history

COMMERCE– The Texas A&M-Commerce women’s basketball team got a dramatic 80-70 win over Texas Woman’s University on Thursday night. The Lions finished the game on a 20-3 run to win, holding TWU scoreless for over six minutes in the final period.

The win brings the Lions to 19-7 on the season and 13-5 in the Lone Star Conference. TWU drops to 15-10 on the season and 8-9 in conference play.

The Lions now enter the final week of the regular season. They will travel to face West Texas A&M on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. The game will take place at the First United Bank Center in Canyon.

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
– The Lions have 19 wins, tying the second-most by a team in program history.
– With the win, the Lions have now defeated every team in the Lone Star Conference at least once.
– Krystal Pickron led the Lions with 22 points, shooting 11-of-13 from the free throw line. She also had three steals.
– Natalie Hessong had a career-high 16 points, scoring 13 points in the second half. She did it all in 16 minutes.
– Artaejah Gay scored 15 points and pulled down nine rebounds. Khala Riley had 10 points and a team-high six assists.
– Jenna Price pulled down a career-high 18 rebounds.
– The Lions held TWU scoreless for more than six minutes and went on a 20-0 run in the final five minutes of the game. TWU had missed 13 consecutive shots before a late basket fell in the final 10 seconds.
– The Lions scored 17 points off of 18 TWU turnovers and scored 17-second chance points.
– Kenesha Saygo had 18 points to lead TWU. Alexis Nezianya added 17 points, and KJ Stastny had 14 points for the Pioneers.

HOW IT HAPPENED
The Lions committed two turnovers right out of the gate and TWU jumped out to a quick 4-0 behind two Spector jumpers. Pickron goes the Lions on the board in the second minute of the game.

The Lions caused two TWU turnovers early in the game but could not get their shots to fall early. Midway through the quarter, the Lions trailed 12-4.

After the midpoint timeout, the Lions offense woke up, scoring seven unanswered points to cut down the Pioneer lead. The Lions were able to break through the tight TWU defense for two layups and also got to the foul line. The Pioneers went on a late rally and led 18-13 after one.

TWU scored seven of the first nine points of the second quarter to take a double-digit lead with six minutes to play in half. Trailing by eight with three minutes to play, Pickron made two trips to the foul line to cut the lead back down to three. However, TWU ended the half strong and hit a jumper at the buzzer to go into halftime with a 32-25 lead.

Pickron led the Lions with nine points in the first half. Gay added four points, and Price had ten rebounds in the first half. The Lions shot 25 percent in the second quarter.

Stastny led TWU with 11 first half points, hitting all three of her shots from downtown. Saygo added nine points for the Pioneers. TWU shot 44 percent from the field in the first half.

TWU pushed its lead to double digits early in the second half. The Lions started to hit their shots in the third quarter. They also got to the line with regularity. The Lions shot 6-of-8 from the field and 16-of-18 from the free-throw line in the third quarter. However, TWU continued to hit its shots as well. With a three-point play from Saygo, TWU took its largest lead of the game, going up 55-41 with three minutes to play in the third quarter.

The Lions ended the quarter on the run, scoring eight unanswered to cut the lead to six. Gay hit two shots as part of the run, and the Lions trailed 60-53 at the end of the third quarter.

TWU brought its lead back up to 11 early in the fourth quarter before the Lions took over the game. Hessong came into the match and hit a three right away to cut the lead down. The Pioneers hit a free throw with six minutes to play, but then didn’t score again until the closing seconds.

Hessong hit another shot from deep and got to the free-throw line in the fourth quarter. The Lion defense also clamped down to end the game. TWU missed 13 consecutive shots while the Lions scored 20 unanswered.

Pickron also came on strong late. She had a three-point play and hit a three-pointer and the Lions led by as many as 13, hitting free throws down the stretch.

MEN’S BASKETBALL

Lions hold off late rally by No. 9 Tarleton in final minute to earn 83-82 win in home finale — LINK

COMMERCE – The Texas A&M University-Commerce men’s basketball team got out to a double-digit lead and held off a furious rally by No. 9 Tarleton State University, earning an 83-82 victory in the Field House on Thursday night.

The Lions have now split the regular season series with the Texans and move to 18-7 overall and 10-6 in the Lone Star Conference. Tarleton is now 22-4 overall and 13-3 in the LSC, missing a chance to seal a share of the league title tonight.

The Lions are off for a week and will finish the regular season with two road games next week. A&M-Commerce travels to West Texas A&M on Thursday, February 23, then closes the regular season at UT-Permian Basin on Saturday, February 25.

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
– The Lions were led by Malik Albert’s 19 points, as three A&M-Commerce players scored in double figures.
– Trey Seymore had 13 points with five rebounds, five assists, and two steals.
– The Lion bench outscored the opposition reserves 35-5 in the game, led by 11 points from Daquane Willford.
– Jovan Austin had nine points with five assists and two steals. Dorian Armstrong also had nine points, while Trey Washington netted eight.
– Tarleton had a 39-29 edge on the boards, but the Lions made ten three-pointers on 23 attempts (43.5 percent) and shot 50.0 percent (27-of-54) from the field in the contest.
– Tarleton’s Chantz Chambers led four Texans in double figures with 33 points.

HOW IT HAPPENED
The game started off at a fast pace, as the Lions attempted to beat Tarleton down the floor and keep the Texans from getting out to a hot start. The game was tied at 7-all when the Lions went on a 7-0 run. Montrell Little hit a free throw at the 13:26 mark to put A&M-Commerce up 14-7, as the hosts held TSU off the scoreboard for nearly four minutes.

Tarleton came back with a surge of its own, with an Armstrong basket briefly interrupting an 11-2 run that saw the Texans go up 18-16 at the 10:56 mark of the first half.

Neither side was able to get out to more than a four-point lead in the rest of the half. TSU was up 32-28 with just under two minutes in the period before the Lions closed on a high, scoring the final seven points of the half. De’Andre Carson drained a three-pointer with 10 seconds left on the clock to give the hosts a 35-32 lead at the break.

The Lions shot 46.7 percent (14-of-30) from the floor in the opening 20 minutes of play.

Tarleton tied the game up on the first possession of the second half and would lead by one point at 38-37, then the Lions roared with their biggest rally of the night.

Started by a Seymore three-pointer, the Lions outscored the guests 18-7 over the next six minutes, and triples from Washington and Willford put the Lions up by a 55-45 count at the 11:41 mark.

The teams traded counter-punches for the next few minutes. As Tarleton would dip the Lion lead under ten briefly, the blue and gold would answer back. A seven-point surge had the Lions up by as many as 14 points with just over five minutes to play.

With 1:11 on the clock, Albert sank a pair of free throws that gave the Lions an 11-point lead at 78-67. A pair of Texan free throws, an offensive rebound, and a corner three quickly narrowed the margin to six. The Lions made 5-of-10 free throws in the final minute, leaving the door narrowly open for the Texans. In the final five seconds, TSU drained two contested three-pointers, cutting the lead to one point with 0.7 seconds on the clock, but the Lions successfully inbounded the ball to run off the clock and earn the upset win.

A&M-Commerce shot 54.2 percent (13-of-24) in the second half, including 6-of-11 three-pointers (54.5 percent). Tarleton shot 14-of-27 (51.9 percent) in half, with 5-of-10 three-pointers made.

 

TRACK

 

Turner Pool’s Academic Athlete of the Year award leads three Lions on LSC All-Academic Indoor Track & Field Teams

RICHARDSON – Texas A&M University-Commerce has three scholar-athletes recognized on the 2017 Lone Star Conference Indoor Track and Field All-Academic teams, led by men’s Academic Athlete of the Year Turner Pool.

Chase Graham joins Pool on the men’s All-Academic team. Alexandra VanSickle represents the Lions on the women’s All-Academic team.

Pool – a junior from Frisco’s Wakeland HS – earns his second Academic Athlete of the Year award from the LSC, as he also earned the honor in the fall cross country season. The finance and accounting major broke the A&M-Commerce record in the 5,000 meters at the Dunamis Classic this year with a time of 15:03.54. This event is his fifth total LSC All-Academic award, as he made the cross country, outdoor track & field, and indoor track & field teams in the 2015-16 season. He earned “Best In Class” honors for a 4.0 term GPA in Fall 2016, has earned the D2ADA Academic Achievement Award and has been named USTFCCA All-Academic and to the LSC Commissioner’s Honor Roll.

Pool is the second men’s track/cross country scholar-athlete to win multiple LSC Academic Athlete of the Year awards in the same academic year and will be eligible to win a third in the outdoor track & field season.

Graham – a senior from Boyd HS – was named the LSC Field Athlete of the Week on January 31, with a conference-leading weight throw of 18.32m (60-1.25). The LSC Commissioner’s Honor Roll and the “Best In Class” honor roll named him for his 4.0 term GPA in Fall 2016.

VanSickle – a sophomore from Winfield, Kan., currently ranks second in the Lone Star Conference in shot put (14.33m, 47-0.25), which is now the A&M-Commerce school record. The LSC Commissioner’s Honor Roll and the Athletics Director’s Honor Roll named her for a 3.50 to 3.99 term GPA.

The Lions are in Alamosa, Colo., for the 2017 Lone Star Conference Indoor Track & Field Championship. Action will take place at the High Altitude Training Center on the campus of Adams State University on Saturday and Sunday. Results will be available at LoneStarConference.org.

MEN’S ALL-ACADEMIC TEAM

Player Team Yr. Major Hometown
Turner Pool A&M-Commerce Jr. Finance / Accounting Frisco, Texas
Chase Graham A&M-Commerce Sr. Technology Management Springtown, Texas
Zach Daniel West Texas A&M Sr. Sports Management Crane, Texas
Colby Bagwell Eastern New Mexico So. Electronic Engineering Clayton, N.M.
Jacob Norris West Texas A&M Sr. Sport and exercise science Forney, Texas
Christian Garcia A&M-Kingsville Grad. Kinesiology Eagle Pass, Texas
Jacob Reid Angelo State Jr. Exercise Science Wall, Texas
Josh Ybarra Lubbock Christian So. Business Administration San Antonio, Texas
Blake Whalen West Texas A&M Sr. Accounting Dubuque, Iowa
Harry Maslen Angelo State So. Chemistry West Yorkshire, Great Britain
Cade Hitzfeld Tarleton State Jr. Engineering Hico, Texas

LSC Men’s Indoor Track & Field Academic Player of the Year: Turner Pool, Texas A&M-Commerce

WOMEN’S ALL-ACADEMIC TEAM

Player Team Yr. Major Hometown
Kami Norton Angelo State Jr. Kinesiology Albany, Texas
Stefanie Blaine Midwestern State So. Chemistry Arlington, Texas
Melina Gryschka Eastern New Mexico Sr. Business Garbsen, Germany
Journee Cotton Lubbock Christian Jr. English & History Alamogordo, N.M.
Morgan Rodgers Angelo State Jr. Nursing Hamlin, Texas
Deana Richardson A&M-Kingsville So. Biology San Antonio, Texas
Jasmine Pitts West Texas A&M Sr. Psychology Midlothian, Texas
Kaina Martinez A&M-Kingsville Gr. Communications Seine Bight, Belize
Victoria Rausch West Texas A&M So. International Business Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
Alexandra VanSickle A&M-Commerce So. Human Performance Winfield, Kan.
Mariah Noyola A&M-Kingsville Jr. Management Harlingen, Texas

LSC Women’s Indoor Track & Field Academic Player of the Year: Kami Norton, Angelo State


Josh Manck

Director of Athletic Communications | Texas A&M University-Commerce