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Lions suffer 78-57 loss at the hands of hot-shooting Mustangs

WICHITA FALLS – The Texas A&M University-Commerce men’s basketball had a halftime lead but could not withstand the second half shooting barrage of Midwestern State University in a 78-57 loss at D.L. Ligon Coliseum on Thursday night.

The Lions fall to 14-5 overall and 6-4 in the Lone Star Conference with the loss, while MSU elevates to 13-6 overall and 6-4 in the league.

A&M-Commerce will play at Cameron on Saturday, tipping off at 4 p.m. in Lawton, Okla.

– Malik Albert led the Lions in scoring with 16 points, while Jovan Austin netted 11.
– The Lions shot 32.8 percent for the game (20-of-61), but MSU shot 45.6 percent (31-of-68).
– Dorian Armstrong had nine rebounds in the competition, while Albert and Trey Washington had six boards apiece.
– The Lions had assists on 16 of 20 made buckets in the game.

After the Mustangs had made the game’s first basket, the Lions hit the accelerator, scoring the game’s net seven points to go up by five. MSU came back and took the lead at the 14:37 mark at 10-9 before A&M-Commerce went on a 13-2 surge.

In that big Lion push, Albert went on a personal nine-point run, and a pair of free throws at the 10:19 mark gave the Lions a double-digit lead at 22-12.

The Mustangs limited the Lions to two points in the next six minutes as A&M-Commerce missed eight straight shots. This defense allowed MSU to come back and take the lead at the 4:33 mark, 26-24.

The Lions then put the clamps on the Mustang offense, allowing only one field goal in the final 4:33. A pair of great trips to the rack by Armstrong helped the Lions tie the contest and an Austin triple at the 1:47 mark allowed the road side to take a 33-30 lead into the halftime break.

The Lions moved the ball well in half, with nine assists on 11 made baskets, while MSU held a slight 21-20 rebounding edge at the break.

Shooting went cold in a period around halftime. The final 1:47 of the first half and the first 5:44 of the second half saw no shots find the target for the Lions. The skid was stopped on an Austin triple at the 14:36 mark.

MSU went on a 14-3 run over a 3:48 span and took its first double-digit lead at the 13:52 mark, 47-37. The Mustangs’ shooting improved through the night while the Lions’ scuffled. MSU connected on shots of nearly every variety, including dunks and a long-range three at the end of a shot clock.

MSU shot 52.8 percent in the second half, while A&M-Commerce shot only 32.1 percent.


Lions earn hard-fought 69-64 win at Midwestern State to earn season sweep of Mustangs

WICHITA FALLS – The Texas A&M University-Commerce women’s basketball team pulled away in the fourth quarter on the way to a 69-64 win over Midwestern State University in D.L. Ligon Coliseum on Thursday night.

The Lions sweep the season series over the Mustangs for the second consecutive season. A&M-Commerce is now 14-5 overall and 8-3 in the Lone Star Conference, in sole possession of third place in the LSC. MSU falls to 5-12 overall and 2-9 in the league.

A&M-Commerce will play at Cameron on Saturday, tipping off at 2 p.m. in Lawton, Okla.

– Three Lions scored in double digits, led by 19 points from Jenna Price. Price also grabbed seven rebounds.
– Artaejah Gay had 15 points, and Khala Riley filled up the box score with 11 points, seven rebounds, five assists, and five steals.
– The Lions forced 24 MSU turnovers, converting them into 23 points.
– A&M-Commerce held a 37-33 rebounding advantage, with 22 offensive rebounds turned into 17-second chance points.

The first half was back-and-forth, featuring four ties and nine lead changes. The Lions only shot 34.3 percent in half compared to a 48.0 percent rate for MSU but took a 34-29 lead into the break thanks to 10 steals.

Midwestern scored the game’s first six points in the first minute and a half, but the Lions quickly narrowed the deficit with a Gay three-pointer and a Riley layup. Pickron’s three-pointer at the 6:19 mark gave the Lions their first lead at 10-8.

The Lions scored the last six points of the first quarter, holding the hosts without a point for the final 2:30 of the period. A&M-Commerce took an 18-15 lead after 10 minutes despite missing six consecutive shots at one point.

A&M-Commerce missed its first six shots, and the Mustangs scored seven straight points to regain the lead at 22-18. Hometown player Abreanna Harrison had a lay-in to stop the surge, and a Price triple from the corner gave the Lions the lead again at 23-22.

Late in the period, A&M-Commerce went on an eight-point surge, and a Wise triple at the 1:27 mark gave the Lions their largest lead of the half at 34-27. The Lions took a 34-29 advantage into the break.

A Harrison free throw on the second half’s opening possession pushed the Lion lead to six points before MSU responded. A series of free throws in the middle of the period gave the hosts a six-point swing that put MSU up by three, but layups by Price and Gay put the Lions back in front.

A&M-Commerce scored six of the last eight points in the frame and took a 53-50 lead into the final period. MSU tied the game early in the fourth on an Arbuckle layup at the 7:14 mark, and from there the Lions roared back in front.

Riley converted a steal into a fastbreak layup, Gay put in a shot from close range, and Courtney Fields hit a long-range triple to put the Lions back up by seven at 61-54, their largest lead of the contest to that point.

The Mustangs were able to hit buckets and earn a few steals, cutting the lead to one possession at 67-64, but Price drained two free throws with 10.4 seconds on the clock to seal the victory for the blue and gold.


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