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TAMUC – Sports

No. 6 Lions clinch the top seed in LSC Championship with 72-56 win at Oklahoma Christian.

OKLAHOMA CITY –  The No. 6 Texas A&M University-Commerce women’s basketball team clinched the top seed in the upcoming Lone Star Conference Championship with a 72-56 win over Oklahoma Christian University in the Eagles’ Nest on Thursday evening. 

The Lions move to 26-1 overall and 20-1 in the LSC, while OC is now 7-18 overall and 7-14 in league play. 

The divisional champion and top-seeded Lions will close the regular season on Saturday at 2 p.m. at Arkansas-Fort Smith. 

HEAD COACH JASON BURTON AFTER THE GAME

Click HERE for postgame thoughts from HC Jason Burton

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE

– The Lions shot 40.3 percent in the game (29-of-72) after shooting the lights out in the first half.

– A&M-Commerce had an outstanding 55-31 rebounding margin.

– Two players recorded double-doubles for the Lions, led by 17 points and 12 rebounds from Alexis Bryant (Pflugerville). Juliana Louis (Long Beach, Calif.) scored 11 points and grabbed ten rebounds.

– DesiRay Kernal (Newton, Kan.) led all scorers with 19 points off the bench, also earning eight rebounds and three steals.

– Maddison Glass (Missouri City – Hightower) passed out a career-high nine assists. 

HOW IT HAPPENED

The Lions took an early lead in the game thanks to suffocating defense. From a 2-all tie, A&M-Commerce scored the next 11 points, holding the Lady Eagles scoreless for four-and-a-half minutes on the way to a 13-2 lead. OC cut that lead to 13-9, but Bryant caught fire at the end of the period, pushing the Lions to a 23-14 advantage at the end of the first quarter. The Lions shot 52.6 percent in the opening frame. 

A&M-Commerce was even more efficient on offense in the second quarter, connecting on 10-of-15 shots (66.7 percent) in the period. Bryant and Agang Tac (Sachse) each started hot in the quarter, as both hit shots from close range. Kernal scored eight points in the quarter, including the Lions’ last six on the way to a 45-26 halftime lead. 

The Lions pushed their lead above 20 points early in the third quarter before the Eagles went on a scoring binge. Oklahoma Christian went on a brief run in the middle of the third quarter, as the Lions went almost six minutes between baskets, but that run by the hosts only cut the Lion lead to 13. A&M-Commerce closed the period strong, scoring 10 of the last 13 points to take a 20-point advantage into the final quarter.

The Lion lead continued to climb in the final quarter, as the Lion reserves continued their efficient scoring. Kernal and Dyani Robinson (Cypress – Langham Creek) each had a pair of buckets in the quarter as the Lions pushed their lead to as many as 24 in the quarter. The defensive effort was also high as A&M-Commerce continued to cause OC turnovers. OC cut into the lead in the final minutes, but the Lions left the court clinching the No. 1 seed in the LSC.

Nice comeback leads Lions to 69-55 road win over Oklahoma Christian.

OKLAHOMA CITY –  The Texas A&M University-Commerce men’s basketball team roared back from a first-half deficit with a nice comeback to earn a 69-55 win over Oklahoma Christian University in the Eagles’ Nest on Thursday evening. 

The Lions move to 17-10 overall and 13-8 in the LSC, while OC is now 9-16 overall and 8-13 in league play. 

The divisional champion Lions will close the regular season on Saturday at 4:00 pm at Arkansas-Fort Smith. 

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE

– The Lions held an opponent under 60 points and won for the first time since the 2017 LSC Tournament Quarterfinal win over Cameron.

– Wayne Stewart (Philadelphia, Pa.) scored 23 points and grabbed six rebounds, going 7-of-11 from the field and 8-of-8 at the free-throw line.

– Deonta Terrell (Chicago, Ill.) netted 13 points and a team-high seven rebounds.

– Leo Lara (Santa Rosa) scored 10 points to round out the Lions’ double-digit scorers.

– A&M-Commerce shot 47.7 percent from the field (21-of-44) in the game, including a 61.1 percent (11-of-18) conversion rate in the second half. The Lions succeeded despite missing eight of their first nine shots.

HEAD COACH JARET von ROSENBERG AFTER THE GAME

CLICK HERE to hear coach von Rosenberg’s postgame comments 

HOW IT HAPPENED

The Lions’ poor shooting early allowed the Eagles to jump out to a 15-point lead in the first nine-and-a-half minutes of action, as the home side led 19-4 with 10:30 remaining in the first half. 

From the 8:30 mark, the Lions went on a 17-2 run over a 5:50 span, tying the game up. Lara and Terrell hit three-pointers, and four straight points by Stewart knotted the game up at 25-all with 2:40 left in the first period. Three late free throws allowed OC to take a 30-27 lead into the halftime locker room. During the Lion rally, the Eagles missed seven consecutive field goals. 

A&M-Commerce put the pressure on its hosts early in the second half with a 14-1 rally. Stewart scored nine points in the surge, and the Lions took their first double-figure lead at 44-34 with 11:31 to play. 

From that point, the Lion lead would never shrink to fewer than nine points. A 10-3 Lion used three-pointers from Terrell and Alberto Moreno (Ingenio, Gran Canaria) to put the advantage at 58-42 with 6:23 to go. 

OC scored six straight to get the margin back to 10 points and bring the home crowd back into the contest, but the Lions immediately snuffed out their enthusiasm with an 8-1 rally. Terrell and Stewart hit jumpers in the paint, and Josh Winbush (Lake Charles, La.) and Stewart made free throws, putting the Lion lead at 66-49 in the final two minutes. The Lions allowed only a pair of three-pointers in the last two minutes, with the Eagles hitting a long heave just before the buzzer.