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TAMUC – Sports

Juliana Louis named LSC Defensive Player of the Week, third Lion to earn an accolade

RICHARDSON – Texas A&M University-Commerce forward Juliana Louis received the Lone Star Conference Defensive Player of the Week, as announced by the conference office on Monday. It is the first Player of the Week award of her Lion career, and the third the Lions have won in the first month of the season. 

Louis– a junior from Long Beach, Calif.­– helped anchor the No. 20 Lions’ defense in both of their wins last week to remain perfect to begin the season. Against No. 18 Southeastern Oklahoma, she had a pair of steals and used her length to create problems for the Savage Storm in the full-court press and the paint. She helped the Lion defense to cause 20 turnovers in their six-point win, the most the Savage Storm had given up in any game this year. Louis then had three steals and altered several shots and passes in the No. 20 Lions’ 24-point road win over Northeastern State. Against the River Hawks, Louis also recorded her first double-double in a Lion uniform, pulling in 10 rebounds to go with 14 points in the game, leading the Lions to a +16 margin on the glass. Louis has been a significant contributor to the Lion defense that came into the week as a top-10 scoring defense. 

Louis and the No. 20 Lions posted the program’s first undefeated November, as the team is currently 7-0 on the season and 2-0 in LSC play. The team earned its first national ranking in nearly 12 years last week, putting up impressive numbers, especially on the defensive end. The team currently ranks ninth in Division II in scoring defense, 18th in scoring margin, 15th in blocked shots, and 21st in rebounding margin. 

The No. 20 Lions return to the hardwood on Saturday as they travel to Austin for a non-conference rematch against St. Edward’s. The game will be at the Recreation and Convocation Center. The teams met earlier in an LSC matchup in Commerce, in which the Lions won 69-46. 

2019-20 LSC Women’s Basketball Players of the Week

Offensive

N-11 Mackenzie Hailey, Tarleton

N-18 Maddi Chitsey, Lubbock Christian

N-25 Ashton Duncan, Lubbock Christian

D-2 Mackenzie Hailey, Tarleton (2) 

Defensive

N-11   Maddison Glass, Texas A&M-Commerce

N-18 Juliana Robertson, Lubbock Christian

N-25   Alexis Bryant, Texas A&M-Commerce

D-2      Juliana Louis, Texas A&M-Commerce

 

No. 20 Lions post perfect November after 74-50 win over Northeastern State.

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – The No. 20 Texas A&M University-Commerce women’s basketball team defeated Northeastern State 74-50 on Saturday afternoon. After a close first half, the Lions ran away with the game in the second half, earning their sixth double-figure win of the season. 

The win brings the Lions to 7-0 on the season, while the River Hawks fall to 2-5 on the year. 

The Lions return to action on Saturday as they head to Austin to play a rematch against St. Edward’s. The game will be at 2:00 pm at the Recreation and Convocations Center. 

HEAD COACH JASON BURTON AFTER THE GAME

On posting an undefeated November: “It’s a blessing to be able to coach such a great group of young ladies. This team played a tough seven-game schedule in 22 days and found a way to go undefeated. And there is still a lot of room for growth.”

On the first half: “We guarded extremely well again in the first quarter but didn’t run offense like we are capable of the whole first half. And we’ve been having second quarter letdowns the last four games that we have to correct.”

On adjustments at halftime: “I love how we regrouped at half at came out and played like a high-level team. Today we showed our depth, and I think that is what will make us tough to beat at the end of the season.”

On the play from the bench: “DesiRay KernalKeekee Nowlin, and Juliana Louis played their best games as Lions, something that we’ve known they can do and it finally came out today. We are a team that is tough to beat when our bench plays like that. Our starters came out the game sluggish, but our bench gave us the spark we needed to get ahead early. And our starters really came out the second half playing like one of the best units in the country. I believe they outscored Northeastern by 15 in the first four or five minutes of the quarter. And they did it with defense! I love how this team is playing on the defensive end right now.” 

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE

– Juliana Louis (Long Beach, Calif.) posted her first double-double of the season with 14 points and ten rebounds. She went 6-of-7 from the field.

– DesiRay Kernal (Newton, Kan.) also had her first double-double of her collegiate career, posting 11 points and ten rebounds, including five offensive boards.

– Dyani Robinson (Cypress – Langham Creek) also finished in double figures with 11 points, including five free throws.

– The Lions set a season-high free throw percentage, hitting 16 of their 17 shots from the charity stripe.

– The Lions finished +16 on the glass, pulling in 14 offensive rebounds while only allowing three offensive boards.

– The team committed a season-low nine turnovers, finishing +6 in that department. 

HOW IT HAPPENED

The Lions got off to a hot start, scoring the first eight points of the game, including three-point plays from both Kernal and Robinson. Leading 10-2 with three and a half minutes left, neither team could find the basket for the remainder of the quarter, with the Lions leading 10-2 after 10 minutes of play. 

The River Hawks found their stroke in the second quarter, starting the quarter on a 5-0 run to get back into the game. Louis had back-to-back jumpers go in to bring the Lion to lead back up to nine points. Robinson had a late three-point play to send the Lions into halftime with a 27-21 lead. 

Louis had 10 points in the first half and also pulled in seven rebounds, while Robinson had a pair of three-point plays. 

As they did to begin the game, the Lions came out of the locker room active again, starting the third quarter on an 8-0 run, including a pair of jumpers from Jones. The Lions attacked the paint, scoring multiple buckets to push their lead to 16 points. The lead was pushed to as many as 21 in the quarter, as the Lions outscored NSU by 10, leading 55-39 heading into the final quarter. 

After NSU cut the Lion lead to 12 early in the fourth, the Lions took off once more, hitting shot after shot. The Lions pushed their lead to as many as 28, winning the game handily.

 

No. 21 Lion defense dominates in 23-3 win over No. 7 Colorado School of Mines in Regional Semifinal.

GOLDEN, Colo. – The No. 21 Texas A&M University-Commerce football team used stifling defense. They capitalized on six turnovers in its 23-3 win over Colorado School of Mines on Saturday in the Super Region Four Semifinal at Marv Kay Stadium. The Lion defense had ten sacks and forced six turnovers, while the Lion offense gained 425 yards of offense. 

The win brings the Lions to 11-2 on the season, and they advance to the regional final for the second time in three seasons. Mines suffers its first loss of the year, falling to 12-1 on the year, them from postseason play. 

The Lions will next travel to Mankato, Minn., to face top seed Minnesota State in a rematch of the 2017 regional final. The game will be at Noon at Blakeslee Stadium.

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE

– The Lion defense had ten sacks in the game, tying an NCAA Division II Playoff record. Elijah Earls (San Antonio – Stevens) had 3.5 sacks, just a half-sack shy of tying the DII playoff record. Chris Williams (Atlanta, Ga.), Jaylon Hodge (Houston – Fort Bend Travis), Devin Beamon (North Forney), Mark Brown (Fort Worth – Arlington Heights), Pierre Leonard (Tyler – John Tyler), and Terrell Collins (St. Louis, Mo.) all had sacks.

– The Lions forced five fumbles in the game, recovering four, and also stopped two fourth-down attempts, posting six turnovers forced in the game. L.A. Dawson (Austin – LBJ), Jalon Edwards-Cooper (Spring – Dekaney), Peyton Searcy (Killeen), Hodge, and Leonard all forced fumbles.

– Miklo Smalls (Plano East) had 112 yards rushing and the game’s first touchdown, while also throwing for 201 yards. Jemal Williams (Inglewood, Calif.) also had a rushing touchdown.

– Preston Wheeler (Austin – Bowie) completed both of his passes, including a 34-yard touchdown. His touchdown went to Tyler Guice (Atlanta, Ga.).

– The Lions held Mines 40.5 points under its season scoring average, which ranked seventh in the nation entering the game. The three points scored by the Orediggers marks their lowest point total since the opening week of the 2008 season. 

HOW IT HAPPENED

The Lions began the game with the ball, and a 53-yard completion from Smalls to Chance Cooper (Leander – Rouse) jumpstarted the action, as the Lions were quickly deep in Oredigger territory. The drive stalled from there and a Jake Viquez (Rockwall) kick was blocked to keep the game scoreless. 

After the teams traded punts, Mines had its first sustained drive of the day. A pair of chunk plays led the Orediggers into the red zone. However, the Lion defense clamped down, holding Mines to a field goal. 

On the ensuing drive, a Lion receiver lost his footing, and Smalls floated a pass that was intercepted. Going the other way, Mines quarterback Jon Matocha hit a long pass that looked destined for six points. However, Dawson would not have it, chasing down the Oredigger receiver and poking the ball out from behind. Edwards-Cooper recovered the ball in the end zone to give the Lions the ball. Smalls then began to use his legs, rushing for 11 yards to pick up the first down. Smalls then kept the ball on a read-option and outraced all the defenders down the right sideline, extending the ball into the pylon to give the Lions a 7-3 lead with one second left in the first quarter.

After the teams traded punts to begin the second quarter, the Orediggers again put a drive together, driving inside the Lion 5-yard line. The next play was a handoff, which was sniffed out by Edwards-Cooper. He put his hat on the ball, jostling it free, with the Lions recovering to keep the Orediggers off the board once again. 

The teams traded punts once again in the final minute before another Lion defensive turnover gave the Lion the ball at the 50 with 40 seconds left. Hodge caused the fumble, which was recovered by Collins. The Lions drove into field goal range, but a penalty took them out of range and ended the half. 

Smalls had 132 yards passing and another 108 yards on the ground in the first half. The Lion defense forced and recovered three fumbles, two of which happened in the red zone, and Cooper had 64 yards receiving in the first half.

The Lion defense came up big right off the bat in the third quarter, earning another sack to force a Mines punt to open play. The Oredigger defense returned serve, stripping Stokes on the sideline to get their second turnover of the game. The Lions were not deterred, holding the Orediggers on a fourth-down attempt to get the ball right back. 

The Lions then began to drive, as Ryan Stokes (St. Louis, Mo.) had a catch and run of 22 yards to get the Lions on the Oredigger side of the field. After three plays failed to pick up the first down, the Lions brought out the field goal unit. However, Wheeler took the snap and decided to throw, finding a wide-open Guice for a walk-in touchdown. The Lions took a 13-3 lead with 8:06 left in the third quarter after an extra blocked point. 

The Lion defensive front continued its pursuit of the quarterback, getting consecutive sacks, including a strip-sack from Searcy, which the Lions recovered inside the red zone. A pass to Kelan Smith (Dallas – First Baptist) got A&M-Commerce close to the end zone, and Williams did the rest, waltzing into the end zone untouched to push the Lion lead to 20-3 at the end of the third quarter.

Mines was looking to climb back into the game and put together a drive early in the fourth quarter, including a 30-yard pass completion to drive into the red zone. The Lion defense again showed its moxie, holding on four consecutive plays. Collins and Beamon converged on fourth down to get another sack, giving the Lions the ball back once again on downs. 

The Lions put together another grinding drive, including a 40-yard run from Spencer Long (Mont Belvieu – Barbers Hill). Wheeler had another fourth-down conversion, hitting Joe Butler (San Antonio – Sam Houston) to push further into Oredigger territory. Viquez punched the ball through the uprights, giving the Lions a 23-3 lead. The Lion defense held for the final time, conceding no ground to the Orediggers, and the Lions left with the playoff win.