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TAMUC – Sports

 

No. 20 Lions fight but fall short in 35-21 loss at No. 4 Tarleton.

STEPHENVILLE – The 20th-ranked Texas A&M University-Commerce football team fell behind by two scores in the first quarter to fourth-ranked Tarleton State University on Saturday, and the Lions were unable to climb back from that deficit in a 35-21 loss. 

The Lions fall to 5-2 overall and 3-1 in the Lone Star Conference with the loss, while the Texans move to 7-0 overall and 5-0 in league play. 

A&M-Commerce hosts its annual Homecoming game next weekend, as Western New Mexico comes to town for a 3:00 pm kickoff, with the game regionally televised on Nexstar channels throughout the Southwest. 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 were outgained offensively, 455-352.

– Miklo Smalls (Plano – East) completed 74.3 percent of his passes, connecting on 29-of-39 attempts for 288 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. He was also the Lions’ leading rusher with 12 carries for 44 yards.

– Kelan Smith (Dallas – First Baptist) had eight receptions for 68 yards and a touchdown.

– Antonio Lealiiee (Copperas Cove) had seven receptions for 71 yards and also had a rushing touchdown.

– Jake Viquez (Rockwall) was 3-for-3 on PAT attempts to stretch the Lions’ NCAA Division II record to 128 consecutive made PATs. He also kicked a perfect onside kick recovered by Sammy Gray (Elk Grove, Calif.).

– Jalon Edwards-Cooper (Spring – Dekaney) led all players with 13 tackles, including a sack and 1.5 tackles for loss. Terrell Collins (St. Louis, Mo.) had nine stops.

– Kader Kohou (Euless – Trinity) forced and recovered a fumble, and Peyton Searcy (Killeen) had a sack.

– Andrew Gomez (Richardson) averaged 40.4 yards on five punts.

– Dominique Ramsey (Converse – Judson) had 112 total return yards with 95 kickoff return yards on two attempts and 17 punt return yards on his only attempt. He also had eight tackles and a pass breakup.

CLICK HERE FOR COMMENTS FROM HEAD COACH DAVID BAILIFF AFTER THE GAME 

HOW IT HAPPENED

The Texans scored twice in quick succession to open the first quarter. The opening score came after an 8-play, 80-yard drive, and the second came on a return after a Lion pass was ruled to have gone backward, thus resulting in a fumble. Tarleton led 14-0 with 7:31 to play in the first quarter. 

A&M-Commerce settled the game down quickly, thanks in large part to Kohou’s strip and recovery in the Lion red zone. After the teams exchanged punts twice and headed to the second quarter, the Lions got on the board with a 5-play, 46-yard drive set up by Ramsey’s 17-yard punt return. A 29-yard reception by Lealiiee moved A&M-Commerce into the red zone, and the redshirt junior would punch the ball in from two yards out with 6:03 left on the first half clock to cut the lead to 14-7. 

Tarleton used three big plays on a 7-play, 80-yard drive to respond with a score and that 21-7 margin would stand going into halftime. 

The Lions stole momentum on the opening drive of the second half when Jemal Williams (Inglewood, Calif.) blocked a Texan punt, and A&M-Commerce recovered at the Tarleton 14. After being backed up by penalties, Smalls connected with Smith from 18 yards out, and Smith’s third effort dive for the pylon gave the Lions the score, cutting the lead to 21-14 with 10:16 left in the third quarter. 

On the ensuing drive, Tarleton converted on three third downs, with the final conversion coming from close range on a 2-yard touchdown pass to push the lead to 28-14. 

A 55-yard return by Ramsey set A&M-Commerce up well on the next drive, and a 22-yard scamper by Smalls put the Lions in prime position, but a pass was intercepted at the goal line to snuff out the drive. The Texans proceeded to march 92 yards downfield and score on a 39-yard pass play with 14:21 to go to make it a 35-14 margin. 

The Lions responded well, as completions on third down twice moved the sticks for A&M-Commerce. Smalls found Matt Childers (Henderson) in the corner of the endzone from 19 yards out to cut the lead to 35-21 with 10:41 to play. 

Viquez’ onside kick went undetected by the Texans, and Gray recovered. Smalls had big completions to Smith and Eric Hebert (Manvel), but the drive bogged down at the Tarleton 10, and the Lions turned the ball over on downs. 

A&M-Commerce held Tarleton to a three-and-out and got the ball back with just over five minutes to play, but a sack put the Lions behind the sticks and a big hit by Tarleton’s Jai Edwards jarred the ball free on a potential fourth-down conversion, ending the drive. 

Tarleton picked up two first downs on the final drive to run out the clock and maintain possession of the President’s Cup.

 

Lions drop hard-fought battle to No. 11 DBU, 2-1.

COMMERCE – The Texas A&M University-Commerce soccer team fought back against the No. 11 Dallas Baptist University Patriots after falling behind, but it was ultimately too little too late in a 2-1 Lone Star Conference loss on Saturday afternoon. 

The Lions fall to 6-5-1 overall with the loss and 3-4-0 in the LSC. DBU is now 11-0-1 overall and 8-0-0 in conference action. 

A&M-Commerce is on the road for its next two matches, playing at Angelo State on Thursday at 7:00 pm and St. Edward’s next Saturday at 2:30 pm in Austin. 

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE

– Shots and chance were fairly even in the match, as both sides took 16 shots, with nine on goal for the Lions and eight on goal for the Patriots.

– The Lions had an 8-6 lead in shots on goal. Jen Peters (Allen) made six saves for the Lions.

– Kara Blasingame (Oswego, Ill.) was the Lions’ only goal scorer in the game with an unassisted tally.

CLICK HERE FOR COMMENTS FROM HEAD COACH NEIL PIPER AFTER THE MATCH 

HOW IT HAPPENED

The Lions had the run of play in their favor early, with Leslie Campuzano taking a pair of early shots in the opening five minutes. DBU did not fire a shot off until the 13th minute, but that started a salvo of Patriot attacks. The guests rattled the woodwork in the 14th minute and opened the scoring in the 26th minute on a Jenna Patterson goal. Patterson scored 35 seconds after entering the match as a substitute. 

The Lions had three more shots in the half, though two were saved, and one was off target. DBU was unable to get a shot off in the final 16 minutes of the half but led at the intermission, 1-0. 

A DBU attacking surge six minutes into the second half provided the guests with their second tally. After back-to-back corner kicks, the Patriots made it 2-0 in the 53rd minute when Kaci Parks scored off of a Patterson assist. 

The Lions roared back with attacking periods after the DBU marker. Lauren Shaw and Skylar Sorrell fired off shots with just over half an hour to play, and the Lions earned a corner kick in the 62nd minute. Blasingame whipped the ball into the box, and it found its way across the line for the Lions’ goal, making it 2-1. 

Campuzano had two shots saved in quick succession, and Peters turned away three straight DBU offerings to keep the Lions in striking distance. Kacey Sorbers had a shot saved in the 81st minute, and Rylie Robertson had a shot saved in the 86th minute. The Lions had one last attempt on a corner kick in the 88th minute but were unable to find the back of the net.

 

 

Lions drop hard-fought battle to No. 11 DBU, 2-1.

COMMERCE – The Texas A&M University-Commerce soccer team fought back against the No. 11 Dallas Baptist University Patriots after falling behind, but it was ultimately too little too late in a 2-1 Lone Star Conference loss on Saturday afternoon. 

The Lions fall to 6-5-1 overall with the loss and 3-4-0 in the LSC. DBU is now 11-0-1 overall and 8-0-0 in conference action. 

A&M-Commerce is on the road for its next two matches, playing at Angelo State on Thursday at 7 p.m. and at St. Edward’s next Saturday at 2:30 p.m. in Austin. 

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE

– Shots and chance were fairly even in the match, as both sides took 16 shots, with nine on goal for the Lions and eight on goal for the Patriots.

– The Lions had an 8-6 lead in shots on goal. Jen Peters (Allen) made six saves for the Lions.

– Kara Blasingame (Oswego, Ill.) was the Lions’ only goal scorer in the game with an unassisted tally.

CLICK HERE FOR COMMENTS FROM HEAD COACH NEIL PIPER AFTER THE MATCH 

HOW IT HAPPENED

The Lions had the run of play in their favor early, with Leslie Campuzano taking a pair of early shots in the opening five minutes. DBU did not fire a shot off until the 13th minute, but that started a salvo of Patriot attacks. The guests rattled the woodwork in the 14th minute and opened the scoring in the 26th minute on a Jenna Patterson goal. Patterson scored 35 seconds after entering the match as a substitute. 

The Lions had three more shots in the half, though two were saved, and one was off target. DBU was unable to get a shot off in the final 16 minutes of the half but led at the intermission, 1-0. 

A DBU attacking surge six minutes into the second half provided the guests with their second tally. After back-to-back corner kicks, the Patriots made it 2-0 in the 53rd minute when Kaci Parks scored off of a Patterson assist. 

The Lions roared back with attacking periods after the DBU marker. Lauren Shaw and Skylar Sorrell fired off shots with just over half an hour to play, and the Lions earned a corner kick in the 62nd minute. Blasingame whipped the ball into the box, and it found its way across the line for the Lions’ goal, making it 2-1. 

Campuzano had two shots saved in quick succession, and Peters turned away three straight DBU offerings to keep the Lions in striking distance. Kacey Sorbers had a shot saved in the 81st minute, and Rylie Robertson had a shot saved in the 86th minute. The Lions had one last attempt on a corner kick in the 88th minute but were unable to find the back of the net.

 

No. 25 Lions come from behind to defeat TWU in a five-set thriller.·          

COMMERCE– The No. 25 Texas A&M University-Commerce volleyball team defeated Texas Woman’s in five sets on Friday night. The set scores were 25-19, 20-25, 23-25, 30-28, and 15-13. 

The win brings the Lions to 15-4 on the season and 8-1 in the Lone Star Conference, and A&M-Commerce is also 5-0 in divisional play. The Pioneers fall to 9-10 on the year and 5-4 in the LSC. 

The Lions return to action on Saturday as they host Midwestern State. The match will be at 4:00 pm at the Field House. 

Tickets to Lion Volleyball home matches can be purchased by visiting 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

Click HERE 

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE

– Bina Njikam (Keller) led the team with 16 kills, while also recording three blocks.

– Shelley Chapron (Houston – St. Pius X) added 13 kills, hitting .520 in the match. She had four kills in the final set.

– Keziah Williams (Branson, Mo.) played in the final two sets, recording ten kills while Sydney Andersen (Placentia, Calif.) had nine kills.

– Celeste Vela (Guadalajara, Mexico) led the team with 37 kills and had a double-double with 18 digs. Natalie Sarbeck (Cypress – Cy-Fair) had 14 assists.

– Savannah Rutledge (The Woodlands – College Park) had a team-high 23 digs and also led the team with four aces. 

HOW IT HAPPENED

 After TWU took the first two points of the match, A&M-Commerce took five of the next six points to take the lead. A 3-0 run for the Lions gave them an 11-7 lead midway through the set. A pair of Rutledge aces pushed the Lion lead even further, to 16-10. The Lions pushed their lead to as many as nine points in the set, winning 25-19. 

The second set was back and forth for much of the way, as the teams traded leads often. Neither team led by more than two points until TWU made a late rally. With the Lions leading 18-16, the Pioneers took seven points in a row to take control of the set, winning 25-20. 

TWU got off to a hot start in the third set, taking a 12-6 lead. The Lions battled back to tie the set at 15. While the Lions battled, they ultimately came up short, falling 25-23 in the set. 

The fourth set was wire to wire, with the Lions fighting off three separate match points late as the set went into extra points. The teams went on mini runs to start before the set seemed to stay tied the rest of the way. The Lions led 23-20 late before the Pioneers took three points in a row to tie the set. The Lions forced two set points, which were fought off. TWU then had the advantage, as A&M-Commerce faced match-point on three different occasions. Feeding off of the home crowd’s energy, the Lions found a way, as Rutledge aced the final point to give A&M-Commerce a 30-28 set win. 

The fifth set was again evenly matched, with the teams tied at seven all at the midway mark. Chapron had multiple kills in the set early. TWU then pushed their lead to 11-8 before the Lions responded. Williams had a pair of kills as the Lions scored four points in a row to take the lead. The Lions took seven of the final nine points to win the set 15-13.

 

Lion Athletics launches a website for 2019-22 Strategic Plan

COMMERCE

The Texas A&M University-Commerce Department of Athletics has released the fully functional website for its 2019-22 Intercollegiate Athletics Strategic Plan, available at LionAthletics.com/StratPlan. 

The website provides easy to navigate details of the plan’s seven pillars and associated goals, the process of creating the plan, and the committees who created the plan. As the plan progresses, updates will be given on advancement towards the goals laid out in the pillars. 

“Our intercollegiate athletics program has placed a true emphasis on aligning our division’s plan with the recently completed University Strategic Plan,” said Director of Athletics Tim McMurray. “We had collaborative engagement between our division and our institution on aligning priorities, themes, and common values for student success. Further, I commend our Athletics Executive Team that spent significant time this summer assessing our division culture and polishing our plan. As we launch activities to accomplish our strategic pillars, we will be engaging campus and alumni partners in our accountability measures, and that is invigorating.” 

The seven strategic plan pillars are:

– Comprehensive Student-Athlete Preparedness

– Unwavering Culture of Compliance

– Dedication to a Championship Mindset

– Commitment to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI)

– Fiscal Sustainability and Efficient Resource Management

– Innovative Fan Engagement and Community Alignment

– Progressive Communication Strategies 

“I commend our athletics administration and coaches for aligning with our institution’s strategic plan,” noted Texas A&M University-Commerce President Dr. Mark Rudin. “By cultivating that executive alignment, we believe we have achieved our shared objectives of Transforming Lives, Advancing Knowledge, Serving an Inclusive Community, and Fostering Collaboration. Additionally, our continued athletics mission to provide a Best in Class experience for all aligns with our institutional mission to Educate, Discover, and Achieve.

 

Lions show mettle in 2-1 loss to Texas Woman’s.·          

COMMERCE– The Texas A&M University-Commerce soccer team suffered a 2-1 defeat to Texas Woman’s on Thursday evening. After being tied at one entering halftime, the Lions surrendered a second-half goal and could not get the goal they needed to extend the play. 

The loss brings the Lions to 6-4-1 on the season and 3-3 in the Lone Star Conference. The Pioneers improve to 10-2-0 and 6-1 in conference play. 

The Lions return to action on Saturday with a match against No. 11 DBU. The match will be at 1:00 pm at the Lion Soccer Field. 

Tickets to all Lion home matches are available for purchase at WeAreLionsTix.comby 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

Click HERE 

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE

– Leslie Campuzano (Garland – Lakeview Centennial) netted her fifth goal of the season in the first half off of a free-kick just outside the penalty box. She had two shots on goal in the match.

– Kara Blasingame (Oswego, Ill.) also had a shot on goal.

– Jen Peters (Allen) made three saves in the match.

– The Lions outshot TWU 10-7 in the match and drew five corner kicks. 

HOW IT HAPPENED

The Pioneers got the first crack at the scoreboard, but Peters made two early saves to keep TWU off the board. The Pioneers found their opportunity in the 21st minute, as a long free-kick was turned into a pass for a goal, giving TWU a 1-0 lead. 

The Lions responded in the 31st minute, drawing a foul just outside the penalty box. The Lions received a free-kick. Campuzano took the kick and rocketed a shot into the net, tying the match. 

Neither team could find more opportunities as both midfielders kept chances away from the goal. The game tied at one going into halftime. 

The Pioneers regained the lead early in the second half as a ball ricocheted off of several defenders before finding the feet of a TWU player, who found space for a shot. 

The Lions looked to respond and had two good chances. Campuzano had a shot saved in the 73rd minute. The Lions had one final opportunity as a handball went against TWU in the penalty area. Blasingame took the penalty kick but could not get the ball past the TWU keeper. 

The Pioneers played keep away the rest of the match, escaping with the victory.

 

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

Connect with us on our Lions’ Den Social Stream.

 

Marcus Jensen

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

Office: 903.468.3027 | Mobile: 801.624.8529

Follow us: @Lion_Athletics | Facebook | YouTube | Instagram | LionAthletics.com

Committed to a “Best in Class” experience for all.