Lions knock off Northeastern State 76-54 to enter holiday break on win-streak.
COMMERCE– The Texas A&M University-Commerce women’s basketball team defeated Northeastern State 76-54 on Tuesday afternoon. The Lions took control midway through the first quarter and ran away with the contest.
The win brings the Lions to 5-4 on the season and gives them their first winning streak of the year. The River Hawks fall to 2-8 on the year.
The Lions will break for the holiday season before returning to action on Dec. 29 for a home contest against Dallas Christian. The game will be played at 2 p.m. at the Field House. Tickets for the game are available at WeAreLionsTix.com, by calling (903) 468-8756 or by visiting the Lion Sales & Service Box Office in the Field House.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
– The Lions scored 31 points in the first quarter, setting a season-high for points scored in a single quarter. The Lions shot 71 percent in the first quarter.
– Alexus Jones (Lewisville – Aledo) scored a season-high 17 points, including five three-pointers. Chania Wright (DeSoto) and Mykiel Burleson (Pflugerville) both had 13 points.
– Princess Davis (Shreveport, La.) had 10 points and led the team with seven assists. Alexis Bryant (Pflugerville) led the team with 13 rebounds to go with six points.
– The Lions shot 45 percent from the field in the game, including shooting 40 percent from behind the arc. The Lion defense held NSU to 36 percent shooting.
– The win puts the Lions over .500 for the first time this season.
– The victory is head coach Jason Burton’s 73rd of his A&M-Commerce career, moving him into sole possession of third place in program history.
HEAD COACH JASON BURTON AFTER THE GAME
On the win: “We continue to grow. To have the break we had of not playing games and still come out and shoot the ball like we shot today, that says a lot about this team. We had some lulls at times, but we still had a lot of positives in this game. We did a good job of finishing. Every team is going to make a run here or there, but we kept them from sustaining runs and pulled out this victory. It was a good win today.”
On the team’s hot shooting in the first quarter: “I told them before we came out that we had to win the first five minutes. It worked against Kingsville. We got off to a hot start. We are a tough team to come back on. We have so many weapons. When we come out of the gate like that, we are a tough team to beat. I challenged the team to not turn the ball over in that first quarter, and we didn’t. When we don’t turn the ball over, good things happen. I was happy to see our girls come out and shoot with confidence.”
On the win-mark milestone: “I’ve been blessed to have the opportunity to be hired here as a head coach. I’ve been blessed since Tim McMurray took over here as Athletic Director. He has extended me twice. This is a great place. There is no other place I’d rather be. I’ve been blessed to coach some talented players. This group is no different.”
HOW IT HAPPENED
Both teams got off to hot shooting starts. The Lions made their first five shots, including three triples. The River Hawks also got off to a good start, hitting their first four shots. The teams were tied at 10 early. The Lions then went on an 8-0 run to take an 18-10 lead midway through the quarter.
NSU battled back with a couple of triples in a row to get back into the contest before a four-point play from Burleson gave the Lions a more substantial lead again. The Lion full-court pressure caused multiple River Hawk turnovers, and the Lions brought their point to double-digits late in the first quarter. A late three put the Lions up 31-18 at the end of the first quarter.
Both teams struggled early from the field in the second quarter. The Lions missed their first nine shots of the quarter. Free throws kept the Lions ahead as NSU did not gain any ground in the first five minutes of the quarter. The River Hawks then cut the Lion lead to single digits before the Lions again rallied. The Lions finished the half on a 9-3 run, including multiple buckets from Burleson. A&M-Commerce led 46-29 at the half.
After shooting 71 percent in the first quarter, the Lions shot 28 percent in the second quarter. Burleson led the team with 11 points in the first half. Jones had nine points, and Wright had eight. Davis led the team with four assists, and Bryant had six points and a team-high eight rebounds.
The Lions brought their lead to 20 points early in the second half. The Lions started the half on a 6-0 run. The Lion defense held the River Hawks to just 25 percent shooting in the quarter, and the Lions took a 22-point lead into the final period.
The tempo slowed for both teams in the fourth quarter as neither side made a big run. The Lions scored the final five points of the game to win 76-54.
Assistant Director of Athletic Communications | Texas A&M University-Commerce
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