Late run, Stewart heroics lift Lions to 83-75 win over UAFS.
COMMERCE—The Texas A&M University-Commerce men’s basketball team picked up a thrilling 83-75 win over Arkansas-Fort Smith on Thursday evening. After trailing by double figures midway through the second half, the Lions made a massive push at the end of the game to get the win.
The win brings the Lions to 11-5 on the season and 7-3 in the Lone Star Conference. UAFS falls to 6-10 and 2-8 in conference play.
The Lions return to action on Saturday at 4:00 pm with a matchup against Oklahoma Christian at the Field House.
HEAD COACH JARET von ROSENBERG AFTER THE GAME
On the win: “I give a lot of credit to Fort Smith. They had a great game plan. They did a really nice job, and we just made a few plays in that little spurt that we went on to get back in the game. We gave ourselves a chance in the last four minutes like we always say, and we were able to make enough plays to win.”
On the contributions of several players: “We got contributions all around tonight. Obviously, Wayne had a huge game. Deon made some free throws late. Alberto made some unbelievable drives and free throws. And he really defended tonight.”
On keeping poise: “It was a credit to our guys. Things could have blown up when we got down by more than ten there. We could have unraveled. But credit to our guys for keeping their poise.”
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
– The Lions shot 30-of-63 (47.6 percent) in the game with an excellent 56.7 percent (17-of-30) rate in the second half. UAFS shot 54.7 percent (29-of-53) in the contest.
– Wayne Stewart (Philadephia, Pa.) scored a career-high 30 points and grabbed nine rebounds. He made 11 of 17 shots in the game and shot 9-of-11 in the second half for 23 points.
– Deonta Terrell (Chicago, Ill.) scored 15 points, grabbed four rebounds, and had four steals.
– Austin Grandstaff (Rockwall) netted 12 points off the bench.
– Alberto Moreno (Ingenio, Gran Canaria) scored nine points with seven key points in the second half.
– UAFS’ Brian Halums scored 44 points and had 13 rebounds.
– A&M-Commerce had a 33-28 edge in rebounding and forced 13 UAFS turnovers.
HOW IT HAPPENED
After UAFS made the first basket of the game, the Lions took the lead and went on a 9-0 run. The teams then battled back and forth, as the Lions held an eight-point lead at the midway mark of the half. However, UAFS then went on an 8-0 run to tie the game at 22 with eight minutes left in half.
It was a battle back and forth for the remainder of the half, as the Lion lead hovered between two points and six. Grandstaff traded a pair of threes with UAFS as the Lions were neck-and-neck with their competitors. At halftime, the Lions held a 34-32 lead.
Grandstaff had 10 points in the first half to lead A&M-Commerce, including three triples. Terrell and Stewart added seven apiece. UAFS’ Brian Halums had 23 points and nine rebounds in the first half. UAFS shot 52 percent in the first half. The Lions benefitted from nine second-chance points and 16 points off of UAFS’s nine turnovers.
The lead changed hands twice in the early parts of the second half as the teams battled. UAFS opened the second half on an 11-2 surge, and a three-pointer at the 17:38 mark gave the guests a 43-39 lead. UAFS continually pulled away through the opening portion of the second half. The guests were ahead by seven points with 12 minutes to play, then exploded for a 7-0 run in just under a minute to go-ahead 61-47 with 10:53 to go for their largest lead of the contest.
Over the next five minutes, A&M-Commerce fought back on the strength of Stewart’s shooting. He went 5-of-5 from the floor and brought the Lions back to within three points at 67-64 with 5:12 to go on a three-pointer. With the Field House crowd re-energized, it was Moreno’s time to shine. He hit a pair of free throws and made consecutive free throws to put A&M-Commerce ahead 68-67 with 3:27 to go.
UAFS was able to get back ahead by two points shortly after that and had a one-point lead with two minutes to play. Deon Barrett (Lancaster) tied the game up with a free throw, and Moreno gave the home Lions the lead for good with a driving layup at the 1:12 mark. A&M-Commerce led by one with just over 30 seconds to play when UAFS failed to box out on a Barrett shot, and Stewart jammed home a thunderous putback dunk to put the home side ahead 77-74. UAFS cut the lead to two on a free throw, and on the ensuing inbounds pass, Terrell was flagrantly fouled as he made a basket. He was then fouled on the ensuing play, and that six-point possession allowed A&M-Commerce to seal the come-from-behind victory.
No. 6 Lions set record with 10th straight conference win, outpace UAFS 82-46
COMMERCE—The No. 6 Texas A&M University-Commerce women’s basketball team picked up an 82-46 win over Arkansas-Fort Smith on Thursday evening. The Lions took control of the game quickly to get their 16th consecutive win of the season.
The win brings the Lions to 16-0 on the year and 10-0 in the Lone Star Conference. The success also was a record as the Lions won their 10th consecutive conference game, setting a program record. The Lady Lions fall to 7-9 on the year and 4-6 in conference play. The win, accompanied by the loss by Lubbock Christian, leaves the Lions as the lone undefeated team in the LSC.
The Lions return to action on Saturday as they host Oklahoma Christian. The game will be at 2:00 pm at the Field House.
HEAD COACH JASON BURTON AFTER THE GAME
– Thoughts on the fast start: “I asked the team to come out of the gate. I thought we’ve been slow out of the gate the last few games, and we really set the tone in that first quarter. And we never let up for 40 minutes. I thought that everybody that touched the floor played well. I felt that Tac was the player of the game tonight.”
On the turnovers: “We only had seven turnovers. That has to be a season-low for us. That’s huge. The more we can get extra possessions in a game.”
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
– Maddison Glass (Missouri City – Hightower) led the way with a career-high 15 points to go along with four assists.
– Agang Tac (Garland – Sachse) had eight points and 10 rebounds while Alexis Bryant (Pflugerville) added eight points and seven rebounds. Dyani Robinson (Cypress – Langham Creek) and Mykiel Burleson (Pflugerville) also had eight points.
– The win was the Lions’ 10th conference win in a row, setting a new program record.
– A&M-Commerce had 46 points in the paint and scored 34 points off of 46 Fort Smith turnovers. The Lions did not give up a point off of turnovers and committed just seven in the game.
HOW IT HAPPENED
After UAFS scored the first basket of the game, Wright had a pair of buckets to give the Lions the lead. It was part of a 7-0 run that put the Lions ahead for good. Soon after, the Lions pushed their lead to double figures. The teams traded buckets the rest of the period, as the Lions took a 25-13 lead into the second quarter.
The Lions started the second quarter on a 7-0 run, including a robust 3-point play from Bryant to push their lead to 19 points. UAFS went on a small run to cut the lead to 15 points before the Lions again made a late push, as they took a 44-24 lead into halftime.
Bryant led the team with eight points and six rebounds at halftime, while Wright added seven points. The Lions went on a 9-0 run early in the third to push their lead near 30 at the midway mark of the quarter. The Lions continued to distribute the ball well on offense and to make shots in the paint, taking a 66-32 lead into the final period.
The fourth quarter was the same story, as A&M-Commerce continued to play its suffocating defense while pushing its lead to new heights. The Lion reserves continued the onslaught, giving the Lions their 10th consecutive conference win.