Lions move to 3-0 with 82-66 win over Oklahoma City on Sam Walker Night.
COMMERCE – On a night when the Lions celebrated the former head coach, the new head coach picked up his first home victory, as the Texas A&M University-Commerce men’s basketball team defeated Oklahoma City University, 82-66, at the Field House on Tuesday night.
With the win, the Lions start their first season under head coach Jaret von Rosenberg with a 3-0 record. Coach von Rosenberg is the first coach since the 1935-36 season to begin his Lion Basketball career with a 3-0 record.
The game was designated as “Sam Walker Night,” as the Lions honored the long-time head coach with the naming of the head coach’s chair as the “Sam Walker Head Coach’s Chair.”
The Lions are next in action at the Angelo State Thanksgiving Classic, taking on Lubbock Christian on Friday and Central Baptist on Saturday. Both games are slated for tip-off at 5:30 p.m.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
– The Lions broke open a game which was tied at halftime, outscoring OCU 43-27 in the second half.
– A&M-Commerce shot 58.0 percent from the floor (29-of-50) on the night, including a 10-of-22 (45.5 percent) clip from three-point range.
– Willie Rooks scored 21 points to lead all scorers, making 6-of-9 three-point attempts.
– Reggie Reid scored 18 points, and Dorian Armstrong netted 13 points.
– The teams tied in rebounding with 26 caroms apiece. Armstrong’s seven rebounds led both sides.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Stars scored the first bucket of the game and jumped out to an 8-3 lead in the first 2:17 of the game, making their first four shots. The Lions roared back, scoring the next 11 points of the game over a three-minute span to take a 14-8 lead.
In the middle portion of the first half, A&M-Commerce went on a 7-2 run, with a Rooks triple pushing the lead to 26-14 with 10:11 left in the opening period. The Stars were able to chip away at that advantage as the half ticked away, and a late OCU layup tied the game at 39-all entering the halftime break.
OCU had a 26-10 lead in points in the paint in the first half and scored 14 points off of 11 Lions turnovers. The Lions shot 50.0 percent (11-of-22) from the field, making six three-pointers and two two-pointers, along with 11 free throws.
Joseph Williams-Powell and Daquane Willford scored the first two baskets of the second half, both of which OCU met with a matching response. Williams Powell’s three-pointer at the 18:12 mark started a 7-0 run. Aaron Horne’s layup at the 16:16 mark gave the Lions a 50-43 lead they would not relinquish.
The Stars shaved the lead down to six points with 11:10 to play, but a Trey Conrod three-point play and an Armstrong tip-in off of a miss pushed the Lion lead back into double digits at 63-52 with nine minutes remaining.
After taking that double-digit lead, the Lions had to hold off a pesky OCU side, as the Stars got the advantage back down to six points with 3:57 to play. But from there, it was an 11-0 Lion’s progress on a pair Rooks triples, a Conrod layup, a Stefan Bozickovic free throw, and a Willford layup. OCU scored only one basket in the final four minutes as the Lions pulled away.
A&M-Commerce shot 64.3 percent (18-of-28) in the second half, with 24 points in the paint to OCU’s 14.
Wise, Gay take home LSC Players of the Week honors.
RICHARDSON– Texas A&M University-Commerce women’s basketball players Brianna Wise and Artaejah Gay have been named the Lone Star Conference Players of the Week. Wise won Offensive Player of the Week, and Gay earned Defensive Player of the Week. The conference office on Tuesday announced the awards.
Wise– a senior from DeSoto– scored a career-high 25 points against St. Edward’s on Saturday in the Lions’ 71-64 win over the Hilltoppers. She was a perfect 5-for-5 from behind the arc, setting a career high in makes from deep. She also drove inside multiple times and was fouled and sent to the free throw line, scoring eight. Her 25 points were the second most points scored in a game this season in the LSC. She has two of the three highest scoring individual performances so far in the LSC this season.
Gay– a senior from Cedar Hill– had a career-high four blocks in the Lions’ 71-64 win over defending Heartland champion St. Edward’s on Saturday. With the blocks, she moved into fifth place all-time in blocks in program history. She also pulled in five rebounds and scored 19 points, the second most on the team. Gay was all over the place defensively, adding a steal. She helped to close out the game against SEU, making free throws in the final seconds of the game to put it out of reach. Gay is tied for the second most blocks in the LSC so far this year and is 11th in scoring average.
The Lions return to the court for a home game on Wednesday against LeTourneau University. The game will be at 2:00 p.m. at the Field House. Admission to the game is free as part of Fan Appreciation Day. The Lions will then host Southeastern Oklahoma State on Sunday at 4:00 p.m.
LONE STAR CONFERENCE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Nov. 15 – Desiree Phipps, Texas Woman’s
Nov. 21 – Brianna Wise, A&M-Commerce
Nov. 15 – Deleyah Harris, West Texas A&M
Nov. 21 – Artaejah Gay, A&M-Commerce