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TAMUC – Sports

Lions prevail, 65-62, over Cardinals, punch ticket to SLC Semifinals.

LAKE CHARLES, La. – Clutch free throw shooting down the stretch aided the fifth-seeded Texas A&M University-Commerce women’s basketball team to hold on for the 65-62 win over the fourth-seeded UIW Cardinals in the Southland Conference tournament quarterfinals on Tuesday afternoon at the Legacy Center. 

The Lions did not make a field goal for the final 6:33 of the game but made seven of eight shots at the line to punch their fifth straight ticket to the semifinal round of the conference tournament by beating the Cardinals, who won the Southland tournament last season. 

A&M-Commerce faces top-seeded Southeastern on Wednesday morning at 11:00, with a trip to the championship game on the line. 

DesiRay Kernal (Newton, Kan.) scored 20 or more while leading the team in assists and rebounds for the second straight game. Laila Lawrence (Lewisville) scored 13 points. The Lions have won at least two postseason games in the last four seasons.

UIW made its first three-pointers, and after missing its first field goal attempt of the game, it made the next six to go up 15-11. However, a scoring drought of 3:58 and a 6-0 run allowed the Lions to tie the game at 15 at the end of the first quarter. 

Both teams did not score a point for the first three minutes of the second quarter. The scoring drought for the Cardinals continued well into the second quarter as their first point came at the 5:29 mark, missing 11 field goal attempts in a row. 

The scoring drought for the Cardinals was eight minutes and 42 seconds of game action. UIW scored just six points in the second quarter, which is the lowest total allowed by the Lions in a quarter this season. A&M-Commerce led 27-21 at halftime with eight points from Lawrence and seven from Kernal. 

The Lions shot 71.4 percent to start the third quarter and led by as much as 10 in the third. Mia Deck (Frisco – Lone Star) converted an and-one at the end of the third quarter to give the Lions a 46-37 lead going into the fourth. The Lions shot 8 for 11 in the third, while UIW shot 6 for 13 from the field. 

The Cardinals cut the lead to five by going on a 10-0 run and holding the Lions scoreless for four minutes and 22 seconds in the fourth. A&M-Commerce missed four field goals during that stretch. The Lions’ last made field goal in the game came at the 6:33 mark of the fourth, but they made seven of their eight free throw attempts during that stretch to hold on for the win. 

UIW made its first three shots from a distance but shot 5 for 19 and snapped its six-game losing streak. 

Kernal tallied 20 points, nine rebounds, four assists, and a steal, while Deck added 17 points, three steals, two rebounds, and a steal. Lawrence scored 11 with six rebounds and three assists. Olivia Russell (Auburn Hills, Mich.) and Zaria Collins (Plano) scored six each, with Russell tallying five rebounds and Collins grabbing six. 

Nina De Leon Negron and Jorja Elliott scored 19 points for the Cardinals.

Louvier and Boykin, Jr. Named Assistant Football Coaches

 

COMMERCE – Texas A&M University-Commerce Football coach Clint Dolezel has announced hiring Nick Louvier and Jarrett Boykin, Jr. as assistant coaches on the Lions staff. Louvier will coach the running backs, while Boykin, Jr. will oversee the wide receivers.

Louvier comes to Commerce after spending last season as the running backs coach at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. He added recruiting coordinator to his title for the 2023 recruiting class. Louvier spent a season at Jackson Academy before coming to Mississippi Gulf Coast.

Louvier graduated from Mississippi State with a degree in business marketing.

Boykin, Jr. joins the Lions after spending last season as the receivers coach at Murray State. Before his year at Murray State, he worked at Wingate for a year and as a quality control coach at Charlotte.

Boykin, Jr. comes to Commerce with extensive playing experience, spending four seasons as a wide receiver at Virginia Tech. His best season was his junior year, with 861 yards and six touchdowns. After that, he spent five seasons in the NFL and scored three touchdowns. During his NFL career, he spent time with Jacksonville, Green Bay, Carolina, and Buffalo.

The Lion football team opens spring practices on March 20. The annual Blue and Gold Spring Game is April 22. 

Photo – Jamie Bustos

Lions shoot five under on Tuesday for seventh at Colin Montgomerie Invite.

SUGAR LAND – Texas A&M University-Commerce men’s golf team shot the second-best score as a team on Tuesday at Sweetwater Golf Club to take seventh place at the Colin Montgomerie Invitational and Nathan McCulloch tied for 10th on the player leaderboard. 

Three of the five Lion golfers scored under par on Tuesday, led by a three-under 69 by Balint Zavaczki (hometown), who finished in a tie for 28th place with a score of 218 (77-72-69), while Chance Mulligan (Dallas – Bishop Dunne) tied for 59th place with a score of 71 on Tuesday and carded a total of 226 (80-75-71). 

McCulloch (Edinburgh, Scotland) shot a 73 in the third round and finished the tournament with a score of 211 (68-70-73), tying with four other golfers. Elsewhere for the Lions, Simon Haas (Lorch, Germany) tied for 21st with a score of 216 (71-73-72), while Kittiphong Phaithuncharoensuk (Phuket, Thailand) carded a round of 71. Unfortunately, he finished last, as they disqualified his second round. 

Coach Brian Dolehide said, “We saw big improvements from everyone this week. We started slow in our first round, but moving into the second and third rounds, the guys made some good adjustments and finished strong. Looking forward to working hard these next few weeks building up to The Big Texan!” 

Weber State shot eight under par on Tuesday to post a team score of 845 and won the tournament, hosted by HCU, over UIW by six strokes. Tarleton’s Jack Anderson won the individual title with a score of 204 (68-66-70), two strokes better than Nicholls’ Ryan O’Neil and HCU’s Marcus Wochner. 

UP NEXT

The Lions have two more competitions before the conference championships next month. A&M-Commerce is next in action on March 27-28 in Kerrville at The Big Texan, hosted by UTRGV.

Pos. Team Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
1 Weber State 282 283 280 845
2 UIW 289 277 285 851
3 Tarleton 286 281 287 854
4 Nicholls 287 280 291 858
5 Southeastern 276 286 298 860
6 Missouri State 286 290 288 864
7 A&M-COMMERCE 292 290 283 865
8 Stephen F. Austin 289 290 287 866
9 HCU 281 289 300 870
10 Omaha 291 291 292 874
11 UTRGV 296 292 294 882
12 Texas Southern 292 298 299 889
13 Prairie View A&M 299 299 295 893
14 North Dakota 298 295 305 898
15 HCU ‘B’ 302 315 294 911

 

7 A&M-COMMERCE 292 290 283 865
T10 Nathan McCulloch 68 70 73 211
T21 Simon Haas 71 73 72 216
T28 Balint Zavaczki 77 72 69 218
T59 Chance Mulligan 80 75 71 226
Kittiphong Phaithuncharoensuk 76 DQ 71