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TAMUC – Sports

Second-seed Lions jump out early to beat seventh-seed Oklahoma Christian, 77-63, in LSC Championship Quarterfinal.

COMMERCE – The second-seeded Texas A&M University-Commerce women’s basketball team jumped out to an 18-point halftime lead. The Lions had five players score in double figures on the way to a 77-63 win over seventh-seeded Oklahoma Christian University in the quarterfinals of the 2021 Lone Star Conference Women’s Basketball Championship on Tuesday. 

The Lions are now 12-2 overall and advance to the LSC Championship semifinal, where they will play third-seeded West Texas A&M at 6:45 pm Friday in Lubbock at Lubbock Christian University. 

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE

– The Lions shot 37.9 percent (25-of-66) from the floor and took advantage of free-throw opportunities, going 23-of-31 from the charity stripe.

– Two Lions had double-doubles, as Juliana Louis (Long Beach, Calif.) scored 15 points and grabbed ten rebounds, and DesiRay Kernal (Newton, Kan.) scored 10 points and snagged 17 rebounds.

– Dyani Robinson (Cypress – Langham Creek) led the Lions in scoring with 17 points while also passing out eight assists.

– Chania Wright (DeSoto) scored 16 points.

– A&M-Commerce had a 51-32 rebounding edge, including 16 offensive boards. 

HOW IT HAPPENED

The Lion defense stifled the Eagle offense early, as the visitors made only two field goals in the first seven minutes of action. The Lions also scored the first seven points of the game, and that lead would grow to as many as eight points in the first quarter. The Eagles shaved that lead down to a single possession in the final two minutes of the frame, but A&M-Commerce held a 20-13 lead after 10 minutes. 

The second quarter was all Lions, as the Eagles made only three baskets in the period and only one in the final eight minutes. After seeing the lead trimmed down to two points early in the quarter, the Lions outscored OC 19-3 down the stretch towards halftime, with no Eagle field goals in the final 6:15. The Eagles missed their last nine field-goal attempts of the half, and A&M-Commerce led 39-21 at the intermission. Robinson and Wright each had nine points at the break, and Kernal had already accumulated 13 boards. 

Louis and Kernal combined for eight early points in the third quarter, allowing the Lions to get their largest lead of the game at 21 points on Kernal’s layup at the 6:40 mark, making it a 47-36 contest. The Eagles finally found their shooting stroke, going on a 9-0 run. A Kendra Levings triple at the 2-minute mark made it an 11-point game at 51-40. TAMUC answered with five straight points and led 56-42 with 10 minutes to play. 

Five of OC’s first six baskets in the fourth quarter were from long range, allowing the guests to cut the lead back to single digits at 69-61 with just under three minutes to go, but the Lions closed strong. Wright made a jumper, followed by four Louis free throws and a pair of freebies from Robinson, closing the game in the Lions’ favor by 14 points.

The No. 7 Lions walk-off twice in a sweep of No. 16 Rogers State

COMMERCE – The No. 7 Texas A&M University-Commerce softball team picked up two varieties of walk-off wins Tuesday in a sweep of No. 16 Rogers State University. 

In the opening game, the Lions won 5-4 in eight innings, followed by an 8-0 win in five innings in the second contest. 

The Lions are now 6-4 on the season, and the Hillcats fall to 4-2. A&M-Commerce opens Lone Star Conference play this Friday with a home doubleheader against Eastern New Mexico at 4:00 pm. 

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE (Game One)

– Kinsie Hebler (Cy-Fair) led the Lions with two RBIs, and Uxua Modrego (Burlada, Spain) had two hits and two runs scored.

– Madison Schaefer (Frisco – Independence) and Alyssa LeBlanc (Katy) each had a solo homer.

– LeBlanc picked up the win in the circle, striking out five and walking two in 2.0 innings of relief to move to 5-2 on the season.

– Emily Otto (Lamar Consolidated) had a no-decision, allowing three earned runs in 6.0 innings of work. 

HOW IT HAPPENED (Game One)

The Lions took the lead in the bottom of the first. Schaefer led off the inning with a monster homer to the left, and it was for her second dinger of the season. 

The Hillcats took advantage of an error in the third, then followed that up with a two-run homer by Makayla Bowman to go ahead 3-1. The guests extended, leading to 4-1 when Elexis Watson led off the fourth with a solo homer. 

LeBlanc answered by leading off the bottom of the fifth with a solo homer to narrow the deficit to two runs. In the sixth, Mackenzie Dugi (St. Hedwig – East Central) led off with a bunt single, and Modrego reached on an infield single. After the duo advanced to scoring position on a sacrifice bunt, Hebler doubled to left-center with two outs to tie the game. 

After a scoreless seventh, LeBlanc pitched a perfect eighth, and Modrego used her legs to do the rest. She hit a single with one out and then stole both second and third base, setting up Avery Boley (Fort Worth – Nolan Catholic) for a walk-off sacrifice fly. 

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE (Game Two)

– Schaefer went 2-for-3 with three RBIs.

– LeBlanc had a two-run homer and a complete-game shutout in the circle. She struck out seven, walked one, allowed one hit, and no runners reached scoring position.

– Hebler also mashed a homerun. 

HOW IT HAPPENED (Game Two)

LeBlanc’s dominance allowed the Lions to assert themselves at the plate. The scoring started in the third after Chealsea Slider (Texarkana – Texas) led off with a double and scored on Schaefer’s single. 

Boley received a hit-pitch to lead off the fourth, immediately followed by LeBlanc’s second homer of the day to make it 3-0. With two runners in scoring position, Schaefer doubled, then scored on Dugi’s single to make it 6-0. Modrego plated Dugi with a single, putting the run-rule in sight at 7-0 headed to the fifth. 

The Lion faithful didn’t have to wait long for the early ending, as Hebler mashed a one-out solo homer to left-center to complete the sweep.

Five Lions qualify for NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field Championships.

INDIANAPOLIS – Four men and one woman will represent Texas A&M University-Commerce at the 2021 NCAA Division II Indoor Track and Field Championships in Birmingham, Ala. 

Ushan Perera (Mahabage, Sri Lanka) and Micky Ferdinand (Micoud, St. Lucia) will represent the Lion men in the high jump. Dorian Andrews (Dallas – Skyline) will run in the 60-meter hurdles, and Lamarion Arnold (Montgomery, Ala.) will run in the 200-meter dash. 

Minna Svaerd (Karlstad, Sweden) will represent the Lion women in the 400-meter dash. 

Perera leads the nation in the men’s high jump at 2.25 meters (7′ 4 ½”), which set a Sri Lankan indoor national record while winning the Lone Star Conference indoor championship with the sixth-highest clearance in Division II history. Ferdinand ranks seventh in the nation to enter the meet at 2.11 meters (6′ 11″). 

Andrews ranks seventh in the nation in the 60-meter hurdles this year, with the quickest time of 8.04 seconds, and Arnold ranks third in the country in the 200-meter dash at 21.09 seconds. 

Svaerd ranks sixth nationally in the 400-meter dash at 55.98 seconds entering the meet. 

The meet will be held next weekend in Birmingham, Ala., at the CrossPlex. The high jump finals and running preliminaries will be on Friday, March 12, with the running finals on Saturday, March 13, for qualifiers.

Lions fall in straight sets to UT Tyler.

COMMERCE – The Texas A&M University-Commerce volleyball team could not crack the code to defeat the UT-Tyler Patriots early Tuesday afternoon, as the visiting Patriots earned a 3-0 sweep. 

Set scores were 25-15, 25-14, and 25-22. A&M-Commerce is now 2-5 on the season, and UT-Tyler leads the Lone Star Conference Central Division at 9-0.

The two teams complete their season series at 6:00 pm Wednesday in the Field House. 

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE

– The Lions were limited to a .102 hitting percentage with 34 kills and 21 errors, while UT-Tyler hit .307 with 40 kills and only five hitting errors.

– Nicki Gonelli (Round Rock – Stony Point) led the Lions with six kills, and three other Lions had five kills.

– Riley Davidson (Commerce) had 14 digs, and Sydney Andersen (Placentia, Calif.) had 13 digs.

– Celeste Vela (Guadalajara, Mexico) was just short of a double-double with 17 assists and nine digs. 

HOW IT HAPPENED

The first set tied late at 10-all, and a series of errors by both squads had the game within three points at 15-12. Unfortunately for A&M-Commerce, their guests went on a 10-3 run to end the set, with five of those points coming on various Lion errors. 

The second set was similar, as a block by Gonelli and Maiya Dickie (Huntsville) had the Lions within one point at 13-12. UT-Tyler hit the afterburners from that point, outscoring TAMUC 12-2. Nine of those points came on kills by the Patriots. 

The Patriots took an early lead in the third set as well, going up 10-4 before A&M-Commerce went on a 12-4 run to go ahead at 16-14 on an Andersen ace. That lead quickly evaporated when UTT scored five straight points, but the late set battle had ensued. Keziah Williams (Branson, Mo.) had a kill to put the Lions in striking distance at 23-22, but UT-Tyler notched two straight kills to close out the match.

Three Lions place in top 10 on the way to second-place team finish at Rattler Invitational.

SAN ANTONIO – The Texas A&M University-Commerce women’s golf team shot the lowest round of the tournament Tuesday to finish in second place at the Rattler Invitational hosted by St. Mary’s. 

The Lions shot a 298 Tuesday, which was the lowest round of the day by eight strokes. It, combined with Monday’s 317, gave them a 36 hole total of 615 (+39). St. Mary’s, the host team, won the event at 611, only four strokes ahead of the Lions. 

The Lions had three players in the top 10 and four in the top 15. Inma Ortiz Prieto (Huelva, Spain) placed third in the event at 151 (+7) after a 2-over par 74 in Tuesday’s round, including four birdies. 

Sarah Wongsinth (Udon Thani, Thailand) and Sophie-Charlott Hempel (Pirmasens, Germany) tied for sixth at 10-over par 154, both excelling Tuesday. Hempel had five birdies on the day and tied for the day’s lowest round at 73, and Wongsinth had three birdies on the way to a 74. 

Michelle Becker (San Antonio – Reagan) placed 11th with a 156, including two birdies on the way to a 5-over par 77 Tuesday. Karlee Nichols (Smithson Valley) ranked 37th at 166. 

The Lions have nearly three weeks off before hosting the Lion Invitational at Trophy Club CC on March 22-23.

 Rank   Team Scores  Total   Par 
1.  St. Mary’s  305  306  611   +35
2.  A&M-COMMERCE   317  298  615   +39
3.  Ark.-Ft. Smith  313  306  619   +43
4.  West Texas A&M  318  309  627   +51
5.  Midwestern St.  324  311  635   +59
6.  Henderson St.  323  318  641   +65
7.  Colorado-Colorado Springs  332  321  653   +77
8.  UT Tyler  324  332  656   +80
9.  Western N.M.  345  326  671   +95
10.  Tex. A&M-Kingsville  352  329  681   +105
11.  Regis  341  343  684   +108
12.  UT Permian Basin  359  343  702   +126
13.  Lubbock Christian  354  356  710   +134

 

Tex. A&M-Commerce 317 298   615    +39   2nd
Inma Ortiz Prieto 77 74   151    +7   t-3rd
Sophie-Charlott Hempel 81 73   154    +10   t-6th
Sarah Wongsinth 80 74   154    +10   t-6th
Michelle Becker 79 77   156    +12   t-11th
Karlee Nichols 85 81   166    +22   t-37th