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TAMUC – Sports

No. 6 Lions come back in the second half but lose at UAFS in the season finale, 85-84

FORT SMITH, Ark. – The No. 6 Texas A&M University-Commerce women’s basketball team fought back from a 17-point second-half deficit to take the lead in the final minute, but a late 3-pointer by UAFS handed A&M-Commerce an 85-84 loss on Saturday afternoon. 

A&M-Commerce wraps up the regular season with a 26-2 overall record and 20-2 Lone Star Conference record. UAFS is now 14-14 overall and 11-11 in the LSC. 

TAMUC is the top seed in next week’s LSC Championship and has advanced to the quarterfinal round. The Lions’ first game of the postseason will be at 6:00 pm on Thursday at the Comerica Center in Frisco. 

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE

– Freshman Dyani Robinson (Cypress – Langham Creek) scored a career-high 24 points on 10-of-18 shooting with three assists and three rebounds.

– Mykiel Burleson (Pflugerville), Maddison Glass (Missouri City – Hightower), and DesiRay Kernal (Newton, Kan.) each scored 11 points.

– The Lions shot 46.2 percent (30-of-65) from the field and 21-of-27 (77.8 percent) at the free-throw line.

– A&M-Commerce trailed at halftime for only the second time this season and allowed the most points of any game this year.

COACH BURTON AFTER THE GAME

CLICK HERE to see coach Burton’s postgame comments

HOW IT HAPPENED

A&M-Commerce started the game on a shooting tear, making nine of their first ten field goal attempts. TAMUC scored the game’s first six points on three-point plays by Jones and Bryant before UAFS scored three straight baskets to tie the game. The game was tied at 10-all with and 6:20 to play when A&M-Commerce went on a 9-2 run. Robinson’s layup at the 3:23 mark put TAMUC ahead 19-12 for the largest lead of the half. UAFS held A&M-Commerce scoreless for the final 2:11 of the quarter, and the hosts scored the final five points of the period to put the lead to 23-22 after 10 minutes. 

That shooting slump carried into the second quarter for A&M-Commerce, as the visiting Lions were unable to make a field goal until the 5:22 mark. By then, UAFS had gotten out to its largest lead of the first half at 32-25. A&M-Commerce was able to go on a nine-point rally, and Robinson’s three-pointer at the 2:45 mark put TAMUC back ahead 37-35. That lead was short-lived, as UAFS scored eight of the half’s final 10 points, and the home side took a 43-39 lead into the dressing room at the break. 

The early third quarter saw UAFS start on a blazing pace, as the home team scored 17 of the half’s first 21 points, rushing out to a 60-43 lead with six minutes left in the period. A Kernal three-pointer snapped the drought for A&M-Commerce, as the blue and gold went on a 17-3 run, holding Fort Smith without a field goal for over five minutes. It allowed A&M-Commerce to narrow the deficit to as little as three points, and UAFS’ third-quarter lead was 66-62 with 10 minutes to play. 

In the fourth quarter, the two teams went back and forth early, as UAFS was able to keep A&M-Commerce at arm’s length. The home team led by seven points with 5:39 to play when A&M-Commerce went on a 10-point run, capped by a Robinson layup with 1:51 on the clock, giving the guests an 82-79 lead. 

A three-point play by UAFS with 57.5 seconds to play tied the game, and Robinson’s layup with 34.9 seconds left put A&M-Commerce ahead 84-82. TAMUC defended well in the next possession, but UAFS’ Leiloni Culley hit a three-pointer from the top of the key with 6.6 seconds left. A Robinson layup attempt was blocked, and final inbounds play from underneath the basket was foiled, handing the home team the unlikely victory.

Second-half rally not enough, as Lions lose 75-65 at UAFS.

FORT SMITH, Ark. – The Texas A&M University-Commerce men’s basketball team erased a 13-point halftime deficit but could not find the winning edge in a 75-65 loss to UA Fort Smith in the Stubblefield Center on Saturday evening. 

A&M-Commerce completes the regular season with a 17-11 overall record and 13-9 Lone Star Conference mark. UA Fort Smith is now 13-15 overall and 9-13 in league play. 

TAMUC is the eighth seed in next week’s LSC Championship and will have a rematch of Saturday’s game when it hosts ninth-seed UAFS in the Field House at 6 p.m. Tuesday. Tickets are on sale now at www.WeAreLionsTix.com. 

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE

– Wayne Stewart (Philadelphia, Pa.) led Lion scorers with 15 points on 6-of-7 shooting despite battling foul trouble throughout the night.

– Darnell Wright (Chicago, Ill.) scored 14 points and grabbed five rebounds off the bench.

– Deonta Terrell (Chicago, Ill.) netted 10 points and grabbed five rebounds.

– Both teams made 26 field goals in the game with TAMUC shooting 49.1 percent and UAFS shooting 50.0 percent. UAFS made 19 free throws to A&M-Commerce’s 10.

COACH ROSE AFTER THE GAME

CLICK HERE to see coach von Rosenberg’s thoughts after the game

HOW IT HAPPENED

The early stages of the game saw scoring go back and forth, with neither side claiming a lead of more than two possessions in the first 5:20. UAFS went on a six-point run and took an 11-point lead at 22-11 with 11:14 to play. A&M-Commerce fought back with a pair of free throws by Alex Peavy (Smithson Valley), a three-pointer from Austin Grandstaff (Rockwall), and a Terrell layup to bring the deficit down to four points at 22-18. 

The margin was six points inside the final three minutes of the first half, but A&M-Commerce could not score in the final 2:30 of the period. UAFS scored the final seven points of the half to take a 39-26 edge into the halftime break. 

A&M-Commerce was able to get back in the game within the first six-and-a-half minutes of the second half. Stewart scored nine points in that span, and a Terrell layup at the 13:35 mark cut the UAFS advantage down to 47-43. 

TAMUC went on an 11-4 run in the next four minutes, and four straight points from Wright gave A&M-Commerce a 54-53 lead with 8:32 left in the game. Unfortunately for the blue and gold, UAFS went on a 12-3 surge in the next 3:30 of action, with a pair of dunks by Brian Halums punctuating the 64-57 lead by the hosts at 5:00 left. 

A&M-Commerce was able to get the deficit down to five points in the final 1:13 of play but looks at the rim fell short, and UAFS was able to close out the game with free throws.

No. 16 Lions lose two one-run ball games at No. 3 UT Tyler.

TYLER – The No. 16 Texas A&M University-Commerce softball team dropped a pair of one-run contests against No. 3 UT Tyler on Friday evening. The Lions fell in the first game 2-1 and the second game 3-2. 

The losses bring the Lions to 11-6 on the season, and 2-2 in Lone Star Conference play. The Patriots improve to 14-0 and 2-0 in the LSC. 

The Lions return to action on Tuesday as they will head to Claremore, Okla. for a doubleheader against No. 15 Rogers State, scheduled for 2:00 pm. 

HEAD COACH RICHIE BRUISTER AFTER THE GAMES

– Thoughts on the game: “We pitched well, and it’s a shame when both of your pitchers throw great ball games as they did. Our hitters have to do a better job and step up. Madison Schaefer is the only one hitting the ball consistently. LeBlanc had a home run today, but we’ve only had three kids in our lineup hit home runs. They have to take what they are doing in practice out to the game. Until we do that, we are going to continue to be in this type of ball game. And it’s a shame because we are playing great defense and are in all these ball games. But this is solely on the hitters. They need to do their job, and when they do, we will be a great team. Until then, we will continue to be in these 3-2 or 2-1 ball games. Our hitters have to find their confidence and take it to the plate with them. We watch them in practice, and they are awesome; they just need to take it to the ball games.” 

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE (Game 1)

– Uxua Modrego (Burlada, Spain) had three hits in the game and scored the Lions’ lone run.

– Madison Schaefer (Frisco – Independence), Jodie Hill (Heavener, Okla.) and Avery Boley (Fort Worth – Nolan Catholic) all had one hit.

– Alyssa LeBlanc (Katy) had the Lions’ lone RBI. She also pitched one full inning, recording a strikeout.

– Emily Otto (Richmond – Lamar) pitched the first five innings, recording seven strikeouts. 

HOW IT HAPPENED (Game 1)

The Lions had a pair of runners reach in the top of the first inning as Modrego had a hit, and Hebler drew a walk. However, the Lions could not get the runners around to score. Otto had a pair of strikeouts in the bottom of the first to keep the game scoreless. 

Both teams went without a hit in the second and third as the pitching continued to shine for both. Schaefer singled in the fourth inning but was not able to come around to score. 

The Patriots brought a pair of runs across in the fourth inning, first on a solo home run from Ashley Perez. Two more singles and two walks brought another run across, and UTT led 2-0 after four complete. 

The Lions brought a run across using good base running, as Modrego singled and eventually scored on a pair of fielder’s choices. The Lions trailed 2-1 heading into the final inning. 

A late Lion rally fell short as with two outs, and the Lions gave the home team a scare. Serina Aguilar reached on an error, and a single from Jodie Hill put a pair of runners on. Modrego hit a hardball, and another wild throw allowed her to reach, however, the runner tried to score and was just tagged at the plate to end the game. 

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE (Game 2)

– Alyssa LeBlanc (Katy) hit her first collegiate home run, tying the ball game in the sixth inning. She also pitched a complete game, striking out six batters.

– Madison Schaefer (Frisco – Independence) also hit a solo home run, her sixth of the season.

– Jodie Hill (Heavener, Okla.), Kinsie Hebler (Cypress – Cy-Fair), and Chealsea Slider (Texarkana, Ark.) also each had a hit. 

HOW IT HAPPENED (Game 2)

LeBlanc came out on a tear, pitching four perfect innings to begin the game. The Lions had one hit in the second inning from Hebler, but they also held them in check. 

The Lions took the lead on a blast from Schaefer that cleared the high center field wall, giving the Lions a 1-0 lead. LeBlanc had two strikeouts in the innings to bring her total to six in the first four innings. 

The Lions had an opportunity for more in the fifth inning, as Slider led the inning off with a single. The Lions had another runner reach but could not get the run across the home plate. UT Tyler then took the lead, breaking LeBlanc’s perfect game with a single, and then a home run, leading 2-1 after five. 

The Lions fought back to tie the game at 2-all as LeBlanc took a pitch deep to center field, and it cleared the fence. The Lion defense again took three batters down in a row to go into the seventh inning tied. 

Hill had a hit in the top of the seventh, but it was the Patriots who found the hit they needed. A solo home run ended the ball game in favor of the hosts.