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TAMUC – Sports

Explosive second-half carries No. 21 Lions to record eighth-straight Chennault Cup win

KINGSVILLE– The No. 21 Texas A&M University-Commerce football team defeated Texas A&M-Kingsville 33-6 on Saturday night. After a tightly contested first half, the Lions broke the game open in the second half to get their eighth consecutive win over the Javelinas. With the win, the Lions retain the Chennault Cup for the eighth year in a row. That is the longest streak by either team in the series. 

The win brings the Lions to 4-1 on the season and 2-0 in the Lone Star Conference. A&M-Kingsville falls to 1-4 and 0-3 in conference play. 

The Lions return home to face Midwestern State as part of Hall of Fame and Letterwinners’ weekend. The game will be played at 6 p.m. on Saturday at Ernest Hawkins Field at Memorial Stadium and will be televised nationally on ESPN3 as part of the NCAA Division II Football Showcase series. Tickets for the game are available at the box office, online at WeAreLionsTix.com, or by calling (903) 468-8756. 

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE

– The Lions totaled 470 yards of total offense in the game, averaging 9.04 yards per play on the night.

– Miklo Smalls (Plano – East Senior) completed 14 of his 20 passes for 222 yards and three scores. He had five passes of at least 15 yards, including two 30+ yard touchdown passes.

– Antonio Lealiiee (Copperas Cove) rushed for a career-high 141 yards on 13 attempts, including a 56-yard touchdown in the third quarter.

– Ryan Stokes (St. Louis, Mo.) led the receiving corps with 71 yards on four receptions, including a 34-yard touchdown catch.

– Darian Owens (Fresno, Calif.) had a 62-yard touchdown catch, while Eric Hebert (Manvel) had a three-yard touchdown grab.

– Jaylon Hodge (Houston – Fort Bend Travis) had a pair of sacks and also forced two fumbles, one of which was recovered by Kader Kohou (Euless – Trinity). LA Dawson (Austin – LBJ) had an interception.

– Alex Shillow (Pflugerville) returned a blocked PAT for a two-point conversion on the block from Darius Williams (Fort Worth – Arlington Heights). 

HOW IT HAPPENED

After establishing momentum early in their opening drive, the Lions found that momentum halted as a fumble was forced and recovered by the Javelinas. A&M-Kingsville began driving down the field and got into the red zone. Rushing right around the left end, they met running back, Kris Barnes, at the line by Hodge, who stripped the ball away, which was recovered by Kohou. 

The teams would trade punts before the Lion offense was again in business. Lealiiee busted a run for 51 yards, getting tackled just before he reached the goal line. Smalls then found Hebert for a three-yard score as time expired in the first quarter, giving the Lions a 7-0 lead. 

After the Lion defense forced a fourth down, the Javelinas faked a punt, and they blew the play up, as Stokes made the tackle behind the line to give the Lions excellent field position. The Lion offense could not punch it in, allowing Jake Viquez (Rockwall) to convert a 24-yard field goal, giving the Lions a 10-0 lead. 

The teams traded punts for much of the rest of the half before the Javelinas made one final push in the final possession of the half. After a 34-yard rush put them close, a six-yard catch gave the Javelinas their first points of the game. However, Williams blocked the PAT, and Shillow scooped the ball and scored, giving the Lions two points. The score at halftime was 12-6 in favor of A&M-Commerce. 

The Lions piled on in the third quarter, amassing 179 yards and three touchdowns in the third frame. After Dawson made an acrobatic interception where he tipped the ball to himself, the Lions were in business. On the third play of the ensuing drive, Lealiiee broke a run up the middle and was untouched for a 56-yard touchdown run, bringing the Lion to lead to 19-7. 

After the Lion defense forced another Javelina punt, it took just one play for the Lions to score. Smalls found Owens down the seam, and he broke an ankle tackle before running for a 62-yard touchdown. 

The Lion defense made another stop, and the Lions marched down the field again. After a pair of rushes, Smalls showed some nice touch with a 34-yard throw to Stokes, who made the catch in traffic for the touchdown. At the end of the third quarter, A&M-Commerce led 33-6. 

The Lion defense continued to suffocate the Javelinas in the fourth quarter, not allowing the Javelinas any to create any doubt in the final result, and the Lions hoisted the Chennault Cup for the eighth consecutive season. 

 

Lion cross country shows well at Chile Pepper Festival

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Teas A&M University-Commerce cross country teams continued their progress in the 2019 season with strong performances at the Chile Pepper Festival on Saturday. 

Both the men’s and women’s teams finished ahead of multiple Division I programs and fared well against their Division II competition. 

“We ran well today against tough competition,” said Lion cross country coach Luke Scribner. “On the men’s side, Timon [Kemboi] and Garvin [Chilton] finished in the top 10 while both running personal bests with Cooper Miller following close behind. 

“On the women’s side, we finally had a full squad, and in a warm, tough race, we competed well, led by Brandi [Stalder] who finished top 10 as well. Off of tired legs and a big work week, we are looking forward to tuning up and tackling conference healthy and feeling good.” 

MEN’S RACE

The Lion men had two top 10 individual finishes on the way to a sixth-place finish in their 8-kilometer race. 

Timon Kemboi (Eldoret, Kenya) placed ninth in the race with a time of 25:53.6, half a second ahead of teammate Garvin Chilton (Katy), who placed 10th with a personal best time of 25:54.1. 

Freshman Cooper Miller (Big Spring) placed 20th at 26:18.5, nearly 30 seconds quicker than his previous personal best. Octopias Ndiwa (Eldoret, Kenya) placed 52nd in the race at 26:56.5, and AJ Tillman (Sachse) placed 122nd at 27:58.1. 

WOMEN’S RACE

The Lion women placed 14th in their 5-kilometer race in a significant improvement over previous seasons at this race. 

Brandi Stalder (Sanger) placed ninth in the race at 18:27.3, just off of her all-time best, and claiming her best time of the 2019 season by 22 seconds. 

Maddie Shubert (Rowlett) placed 54th at 19:43.6, Mallory Morgan (Katy) placed 114th at 20:29.1, Leeasha Madison (Lancaster) placed 155th at 20:58.0, and Shelby White (Eustace) placed 186th at 21:20.7. 

UPCOMING

The Lions run in their final regular-season race next Saturday at Mississippi College’s Watson Invitational in Clinton, Miss.

 

No. 21 Lions bounce back with 3-1 victory over Lubbock Christian

COMMERCE– The No. 21 Texas A&M University-Commerce volleyball team defeated Lubbock Christian 3-1 on Saturday afternoon. The set scores were 25-15, 19-25, 25-19, and 25-20. 

The win brings the Lions to 11-4 on the season and 5-1 in the Lone Star Conference. The Lady Chaps fall to 8-8 and 2-6 in conference play. 

The No. 21 Lions return to action on Friday as they travel to Lawton, Okla. to face Cameron. The match will be at 5:30 pm at Aggie Gym. 

HEAD COACH CRAIG CASE AFTER THE MATCH

– On responding from the previous loss: “There were times in this match that we played pretty well. Lubbock Christian is a good team. They have beaten a lot of good teams already this year. We knew it was going to be tough. We struggled with some competitiveness issues today. I thought our hitters had better determination than we did yesterday. But I think the way we came out and played today, at times, is a good step forward to get all those things sorted out.”

– On getting the momentum in the third set: “The biggest thing that came out of today is that we have a lot of good players. At any minute, we had somebody who we could put in and produce if someone else was not playing well. I think that helped things get going. And we are by nature a pretty competitive team. Whenever we can play good in those close sets, things seem to go our way a lot of the time. The trick now is to be able to play well in those situations. It was a big win in that third set.” 

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE

– Sydney Andersen (Placentia, Calif.) led the team with 18 kills, hitting .500 in the match. She also added six blocks in the game.

– Shelley Chapron (Houston – St. Pius X) added 14 kills and four blocks. Keziah Williams (Branson, Mo.) also finished in double figures with ten kills.

– Celeste Vela had 32 assists in the match, posting a .395 assist percentage. She also had two digs, two blocks, and an ace.

– Savannah Rutledge (The Woodlands – College Park) led the team with 11 digs, while Riley Davidson (Commerce) added eight digs.

– The Lions hit .274 in the match, including .412 in the final set. They held LCU to a .164 hitting percentage. 

HOW IT HAPPENED

It was an even start to the first set, as LCU led 7-6 before the Lions went on a run. A&M-Commerce scored five points in a row to take the lead. Williams and Andersen then had a pair of kills each to push the lead to six points. The Lions scored 11 of the final 16 points of the set to win 25-15. 

LCU got off to a hot start in the second set, taking six of the first eight points. The Lions fought back behind a strong attack to tie the match at 11-all and later made their early lead of the set. LCU then went on a 6-1 run to re-establish their lead. A 6-0 run by the Lady Chaps carried them to a 25-19 win in the second set. 

The teams traded points back and forth throughout the beginning of the third set, as there were ten ties in the set. Trailing 13-11 midway through the set, the Lions then went on a run to take the lead. Williams had consecutive kills as A&M-Commerce took 11 of the next 13 points to take a commanding 22-15 lead. The Lions took the set 25-19. 

Chapron and Andersen both had two early kills as the Lions jumped out to a 5-1 lead in the fourth set. Chapron had six kills in the set while Andersen also had six kills to go with an ace. The Lions quickly led 10-3. LCU battled back to cut the Lion lead to just two points before Andersen had consecutive kills as part of a 4-0 run that sealed the set and the match. The Lions won the set 25-20.

 

Blasingame golden goal lifts Lions to 1-0 overtime road win over ENMU

PORTALES, N.M.– The Texas A&M University-Commerce soccer team picked up a 1-0 overtime victory over Eastern New Mexico on Saturday afternoon. After the teams played to a scoreless tie in regulation, the Lions netted a goal in the fifth minute of the first overtime to pick up the win. 

The win brings the Lions to 5-3-1 on the season and 2-2 in the Lone Star Conference. The Greyhounds fall to 4-2-1 and 1-2 in conference action. 

The Lions return home on Thursday for a match against travel-partner UT Tyler. The game will be at 7:00 pm at the Lion Soccer Field. Tickets to all Lion home matches are available for purchase at WeAreLionsTix.com, by calling (903) 468-8756, by visiting the Lion Sales & Service Box Office in the Field House during business hours, or by purchase at the gates of the Lion Soccer Field. 

HEAD COACH NEIL PIPER AFTER THE MATCH

On the win:  “It was a much-needed win. Both teams had some good chances during regulation.”

On the overtime goal: “The goal came from a great individual effort from Kara. She beat three players and calmly put away the finish.” 

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE

– Kara Blasingame (Oswego, Ill.) scored the lone goal of the match in the 95th minute. It is her third goal of the season and her second game-winning goal.

– Leslie Campuzano (Garland – Lakeview Centennial) assisted on the goal, her sixth assist of the year. She also had two shots on goal.

– Jen Peters (Allen) earned her fifth shutout of the season, stopping all six of ENMU’s shots on goal.

– The Lions were outshot 14-6 in the match, including 8-1 in the second half. 

HOW IT HAPPENED

The defense was strong by both teams in the early period, as neither team was able to put a shot on goal in the first 28 minutes of the match. ENMU had consecutive shots on goal in the 29th minute, but Peters saved both. 

Campuzano had the Lions’ first shot on goal in the 35th minute and again had a shot on goal in the 38th minute. Neither team was able to find space for shots in the final minutes as the score tied at zero at halftime. 

Peters made two early saves in the second half as the Greyhounds applied pressure early and often. The Lions had their lone shot of the period in the first minutes and held off the ENMU attack, as Peters made two more saves in the period. A last-second shot by ENMU was off the mark, and the match went into overtime. 

The Lions held off the Greyhounds’ lone shot of the overtime period and found their opportunity in the 95th minute. Campuzano found Blasingame, and she was able to beat three defenders before sliding the ball into the goal, giving the Lions the win.

 

No. 21 Lions fall in four sets at home to Angelo State·          

COMMERCE– The No. 21 Texas A&M University-Commerce volleyball team lost in four sets to Angelo State on Friday night. After losing the first set, the Lions won the second set in extra points before dropping the next two sets. The set scores were 17-25, 27-25, 13-25, and 11-25. 

The loss drops the Lions to 10-4 on the season and 4-1 in the Lone Star Conference. It was only the second loss at home for the Lions since the 2016 season. The Rambelles improve to 14-1 and 6-0 in conference play. 

The Lions return to action on Saturday as they host Lubbock Christian. The match will be at 2:00 pm at the Field House. You can purchase tickets to all Lion Volleyball home matches at WeAreLionsTix.com, by calling (903) 468-8756, or by visiting the Lion Sales & Service Box Office inside the Field House during business hours. 

HEAD COACH CRAIG CASE AFTER THE MATCH

– Thoughts on the match: “It’s frustrating because these are the types of teams that we want to play against. Angelo State is really good. After those first two sets, they frustrated our hitters so much. They are one of the top defensive teams in the country. They hold their opponents to a very low hitting percentage, and we knew that coming in. I just didn’t think we responded to that challenge very well. Then that bled into everything else. Our passers got frustrated that we were not scoring, so they started to not play well. Then our hitters got frustrated from not scoring, so they didn’t block very well. We have to focus on those things and figure out how to stay focused in the moment. We have to make sure one point does not become two or three, just because things are not going our way. This will be good for us. As we move forward from this, we will focus on those things that got exposed tonight. I’m very confident that we will address those things we saw tonight and continue to get better.”

– On regrouping quickly for Saturday’s match: “We have enough veterans and people in the locker room who understand that we have to move on. We can’t do anything about Friday night; we have to take care of business on Saturday. Both us and Angelo have an entire season still ahead of us. We have to figure out how to regroup, and I think we will. We have to get out tomorrow and focus on playing Lion Volleyball and doing the little things we do. That will go a long way.” 

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE

– Sydney Andersen (Placentia, Calif.) led the Lions with ten kills in the match. Shelley Chapron (Houston – St. Pius X) added nine kills.

– Savannah Rutledge (The Woodlands – College Park) led the team with 14 digs, while Natalie Sarbeck (Cypress – Cy-Fair) had ten0 digs to go with nine assists.

– Celeste Vela (Guadalajara, Mexico) led the team with 19 assists.

– ASU totaled 16 blocks in the match, holding the Lion to a .092 hitting percentage. The Rambelles also were aggressive on the serve, totaling 12 aces as well as ten serving errors.

– It is only the second home loss for A&M-Commerce since the 2016 season. 

HOW IT HAPPENED

The teams traded runs early in the first set, as ASU took the first three points before the Lions responded with three of their own. It was a one-point match midway through until the Rambelles began a run, taking seven of the next eight points to establish an eight-point lead. The Lions fought to cut the lead to four but could not close the gap, falling 25-17. 

The Lions got off to a strong start in the second set, quickly establishing a lead. After ASU cut the Lion lead to two points, the Lions scored seven of the next nine points to take a 17-10 lead. After ASU went on a 3-0 run, the Lions responded with a 4-0 run to lead 21-13. ASU then went on a long run, scoring nine of the next 10 points to tie the match at 22 all. Both teams faced set point late before A&M-Commerce took the final three points of the set to win 27-25. 

After splitting the first six points of the third set, things started to get away from the Lions. Aggressive serving from the Rambelles aided the cause, as ASU led 17-6. The Lions went on a 3-0 run to try and cut the deficit, but ASU kept piling on, winning the set 25-13. 

It was again an even start to the fourth set, as the teams tied at five early. ASU then went on a run, stringing together multiple rallies to which the Lions could not respond. ASU won the set 25-11.

 

 

 

Josh Manck

Associate Athletics Director for Marketing and Communications | Texas A&M University-Commerce

Committed to a “Best in Class” student-athlete experience

Office: 903.886.5131 Mobile: 817.487.5136

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 3011 | Commerce, TX 75429

Physical Address: 2600 Neal Street, Commerce, TX 75429

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Marcus Jensen

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

Office: 903.468.3027 | Mobile: 801.624.8529

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