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A&M Commerce

SOFTBALL

Katie Dean named LSC Pitcher of the Week

COMMERCE– Texas A&M University-Commerce’s Katie Dean has been named the Lone Star Conference Pitcher of the Week. The award was announced Tuesday by the league.

Dean, a sophomore from Whitesboro, was an ace for the Lions in their tournament last weekend. She had two wins, and a save in three appearances. Dean held hitters to just a .190 average with 11 strikeouts and an ERA of 1.80 in 11.2 innings pitched.

She pitched a complete game in the Lions 6-2 win over Hillsdale College, striking out six batters and getting eight ground outs and six fly outs on 101 pitches. Dean followed that performance the next day with a two-inning save in the Lions 3-2 win over No. 17 Saint Leo’s. She struck out all three batters she faced in the sixth inning and didn’t give up a hit, retiring all six batters she faced.

Dean again shined when called upon in the Lions 9-4 win over Florida Tech. She came in with the bases loaded and no outs with the Lions trailing 3-2 in the top of the fifth inning. Dean forced a ground out to home plate and then another groundout to turn a double play to get the Lions out of the jam without scoring a run. She struck out two more batters the following inning and got the relief win for the Lions.

The Lions went 4-1 in the NFCA Leadoff Classic, including knocking off No. 17 St. Leo University on Saturday. The Lions now head to Stephenville to face Tarleton State in a three-game series to open up conference play. The teams will play a single game at 6 p.m. on Friday and a doubleheader at 1 and 3 p.m. on Saturday. All three games will be at the Texann Softball Complex.

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

Women’s basketball gets crucial 74-64 win over Tarleton State in final home game of the season

COMMERCE– The Texas A&M University-Commerce women’s basketball team defeated Tarleton State 74-64 Tuesday night. The Lions overcame a poor shooting first half to take control of the game in the fourth quarter.

The win brings the Lions to 18-7 on the season and 12-5 in the Lone Star Conference. The Texanns drop to 12-11 on the season and 11-6 in conference play.

The Lions will hit the road on Thursday night as they face Texas Woman’s University. The game will be at 7 p.m. at the Kitty Magee Arena in Denton.

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
– Krystal Pickron led the Lions with 22 points. She went 6-of-9 from the field and 8-of-9 from the free throw line.
– Brianna Wise did not miss a shot. She went 6-of-6 from the field and 5-of-5 from the foul line. She finished with 17 points and added five rebounds.
– Khala Riley had 14 points and a team-high four assists and three steals. She also added six rebounds.
– Jenna Price led the Lions with 13 rebounds.
– A&M-Commerce shot 27.3 percent from the field in the first half but turned it around and shot 53.8 percent in the second half.
– After scoring just 23 points in the first half, the Lions scored 22 in the third quarter and 51 in the second half.
– The Lions won the battle in the paint, scoring 32 points to TSU’s 19. TSU scored 19 points off of 20 A&M-Commerce turnovers. The Texanns committed 13 turnovers.
– A&M-Commerce was plus-18 on the boards. They shot 92 percent from the free throw line, converting 24-of-26 attempts.
– Mackenzie Hailey scored 22 points to lead TSU. She also had six rebounds and three steals. Bailey Wipff added 16 points and Ikpeaku Iwobi had seven points and 10 rebounds.

HOW IT HAPPENED
The Lions were the first ones on the board in a back-and-forth first quarter. Wise scored four of the first six points for A&M-Commerce while Wipff had the first seven points for TSU. Penina Faumui had back-to-back layups for the Lions as they led 10-7 midway through the quarter.

The back and forth battle continued the rest of the way and TSU held a 13-12 lead going into the second quarter. Both teams struggled from the field in the first half. The Lions shot just 22 percent in the first quarter and that carried over into the second quarter.

Starting at the 1:33 mark of the first quarter, the Lions were held scoreless for the next seven and a half minutes as the Texanns built a lead. The Lions missed 10 consecutive shots and found themselves in a hole, trailing 24-12 with four minutes to play in the half. The Lions rallied late. They finished the half on an 11-1 run. Pickron broke the cold streak. She scored six of the final 11 points for the Lions and A&M-Commerce trailed 25-23 at halftime.

Pickron led the Lions with six points in the first half. Wise and Faumui each added four. Riley had five rebounds and three assists in the first half while Price had six rebounds. Wipff led TSU with nine points and Hailey added eight points and five rebounds. Both teams shot less than 30 percent in the first half.

The Lions tied the game early in the third quarter with a three-point play from Riley. A three-point play for TSU brought the lead back up to four and three more free throws gave the Texanns a seven-point lead midway through the third quarter.

The Lions went on a 7-0 run, capped off by a 3-pointer from Natalie Hessong and the game was tied at 39 with three minutes to go in the quarter. The rest of the quarter was one team trading baskets with the other. The Lions were unable to retake the lead in the quarter and trailed 47-45 going into the final period.

The Lions took their first lead since late in the first quarter in the early minute of the fourth quarter. Wise converted a three-point play to give the Lions a four-point lead. The Lion defense clamped down in the final period, causing missed shots and multiple turnovers. Midway through the fourth, the Lions led 59-52.

Pickron caught fire from downtown in the second half, making both of her attempts in the half. She also converted eight free throws. Wise continued to be perfect from the field. The Texanns scored multiple buckets in the final minutes but the Lions matched them point for point and a late foul allowed A&M-Commerce to finish the game ahead by double-digits.

Josh Manck
Director of Athletic Communications | Texas A&M University-Commerce