Photo- Avi Mehta
Robinson’s 29 power Lions to their first road win of 2022-23
LAKE CHARLES, La. – Behind season-best 29 points from Dyani Robinson, the Texas A&M University-Commerce women’s basketball team collected its first road win as a Division I program by beating the McNeese Cowgirls 79-71 on Saturday afternoon at the Legacy Center.
The Lions move to 3-0 in Southland Conference play, leading the conference after the first two weekends of the season and improving to 5-10 overall. The Cowgirls fall to 4-10 overall and 1-2 in Southland play. Coming into the game, the Lions were 0-9 in games away from Commerce and 0-7 in actual road games this season.
Robinson (Langham Creek) scored a three-pointer to start the game, but the Cowgirls scored the following nine points to lead 9-3. The Lions did pull to 12-11, but following a called timeout by McNeese, the Cowgirls scored the next five and went up by as much as seven in the first quarter.
The Lions scored the final three points of the first quarter and then the first four in the second quarter to tie the game at 21. A layup by Robinson at the 8:17 mark of the second quarter gave the Lions a 25-23 lead, their first since 3-0 to start the game. McNeese closed out the first half on an 11-2 run to lead 45-37 at the half.
Robinson scored 17 points in the first 20 minutes on 7 for 11 shooting and made three of her four three-point attempts. Laila Lawrence (Lewisville) scored nine. For McNeese, Kaili Chamberlain scored 13, and Desirae Hansen scored 12.
The Lions started the second half on a 9-0 run to take a 46-45 lead on an and-one by Lawrence. There were five lead changes through the first six minutes of the third quarter after just five in the first half.
A&M-Commerce outscored the Cowgirls 23-6 to start the second half and led 61-51 with 1:40 remaining in the third quarter, which was the largest lead for either team. DesiRay Kernal (Newton, Kan.) scored eight points in the third quarter.
After the Lions went up by 10, McNeese scored nine of the next 10 to cut the Lion lead down to two, but A&M-Commerce scored six of the next eight to go up by six again. The Cowgirls went on a 5-0 run late to cut to within six, but the Lions made just enough free throws not to let the lead go below five and collected their first road win of the season.
In the game, the Lions forced 23 turnovers and scored 28 off those turnovers while scoring 14-second chance points off 14 offensive rebounds and had an 11-4 edge in fastbreak points.
Robinson shot 10 for 19 in the game for her 29 points, which are the most for the Lions since she scored 29 against Midwestern State on February 2, 2021, while also adding three rebounds, five steals, and three assists. Lawrence recorded her first 20-point performance and missed a double-double by just one rebound. She also had a steal and a block in the game.
Kernal picked up her fourth double-double of the season with 12 points and ten rebounds. She also had two assists, two steals, and a block in the game. Jordyn Beaty (Woodville), Zaria Collins (Plano), and Olivia Russell (Auburn Hills, Mich.) scored four points each. Dorian Norris (Lake Dallas) grabbed four rebounds and dished out two assists.
The Cowgirls’ Hansen had 12 points in the first half but just six in the second, but still led McNeese with 18 points. The Cowgirls outshot the Lions, 51.8 to 43.3 percent in the game.
The Lions remain on the road, traveling to Houston Christian, the defending Southland champions, on Thursday at 5:00 pm.
Lions fight back to sink McNeese in overtime, 82-80
LAKE CHARLES, La. – Eight made free throws in the overtime period for the Texas A&M University-Commerce men’s basketball team were just enough to give the Lions an 82-80 win over the McNeese Cowboys on Saturday afternoon at the Legacy Center.
A&M-Commerce scored the first point of overtime at the free throw line, but the Cowboys scored the next four to go up 76-73. The Lions did not have a field goal made through the first three minutes of overtime and missed four of their seven free throw attempts in the first three minutes.
Alonzo Dodd (St. Paul, Minn.) made two free throws to pull the Lions to 80-79 with 35.7 seconds to go. After both teams called timeouts, the Lions forced a turnover, and Demarcus Demonia (Fort Washington, Md.) drew a shooting foul. He made both free throws to put the Lions ahead 81-80. He came up with a steal on the other end. He was fouled and made his first free throw pushing the lead up to two.
Demonia intentionally missed the second free throw, but his attempt did not touch the rim, so the Cowboys had a chance to inbound the play, and Zach Scott attempted a three-pointer from near half-court, and it bounced off the rim.
The Lions, trailed by as much as 15 in the first half, improved to 2-1 in Southland Conference play and 6-11 overall. They remain a perfect 3-0 in overtime games this season. The Cowboys recovered from a nine-point deficit in the second half to tie it with a second left but fell to 5-11 on the season and dropped its first conference game. They are 2-1 as well.
McNeese led 6-0 to start the game and held a nine-point lead with 14:33 to go in the first half. The largest lead for the Cowboys of 27-12 came at the 10:33 mark. The Lions scored the next nine to pull to 27-23 on and-one by Tommie Lewis (Vero Beach, Fla.), who drilled a three-pointer with 31 seconds to go to push the Lion deficit down to 37-34, which was the first time the scoring margin was within one possession since 6-3.
Demonia, who came into the second in the Southland in scoring with an average of 15.9 points per game, had 16 in just the first half, shooting 6-for-8 from the field and 3-for-5 from a distance.
The Lions outshot the Cowboys, 50 percent to 46.7 percent, in the first half.
The Cowboys scored the first five points of the second half to go up by eight, but the Lions trimmed it down to five on a three-pointer by Dodd. Lewis drilled another three-pointer at the 11:51 mark of the second half to bring the game back down to three points since halftime.
Luka Vasic (Pirot, Serbia) brought the Lions down to two for the first time all game with an and-one with 11:05 to go, and Kalen Williams (Augusta, Ga.) tied the game for the first time since the opening tip at 54-54. The 8-0 the run continued for the Lions as Vasic swished in a three-pointer to give them a 57-54 lead. They are the first of the game. He drilled another three-pointer with 9:02 to go to push the lead up to 60-56. The largest lead of the game for the Lions was nine points, and it came with 4:33 to go.
The Cowboys pulled to within two in the final minute of the game twice, and Zach Scott swished in a layup with 1.2 seconds left to tie the game at 72 and send it to overtime.
Demonia scored 32 points and has averaged 32.5 points per game in the two Lion conference wins. He also recorded eight rebounds, two assists, and three steals while drawing nine fouls. Lewis finished the game with 19 points, five rebounds, five assists, and a steal.
Vasic totaled 12 points as well as three rebounds and two assists. JJ Romer Rosario (Hialeah Gardens, Fla.) had five rebounds and two points, while Jerome Brewer, Jr. (Camden, N.J.) had five and five rebounds.
For McNeese, Harwin Francois scored 18, Scott and Trae English scored 17, and Christian Shumate scored 16.
The Lions outshot the Cowboys, 47.4 percent to 45.7 percent, and had the 36-35 edge in rebounds. The Lion’s bench scored 13 points, while the Cowboys scored two.
The road trip for the Lions continues Thursday at Houston Christian, with tip-off scheduled for 7:30 pm against the Huskies.