No. 18 Lions use late shot to force OT; defeat Midwestern State 91-88 to begin the second round of LSC play.
COMMERCE – The No. 18 Texas A&M University-Commerce men’s basketball team defeated Midwestern State 91-88 in overtime on Thursday night in front of a crowded Field House as the team began its second cycle of conference play.
The Lions improve to 16-3 on the season while the Mustangs fall to 6-13. The win gives the Lions the regular season sweep over the Mustangs after A&M-Commerce won the previous matchup 95-77 in Wichita Falls on Dec. 2.
The next game for the Lions will be on Saturday against Cameron, a team they defeated by a single point in late November. Tip-off will be at 4 p.m. from the Field House for Alumni Day.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
– These Lions have yet to lose an overtime game this year. Their first was a 70-61 win over Oklahoma Christian to start the season.
– The game featured five ties and 11 lead changes.
– The Lions have scored over 90 points in back-to-back games.
– Reggie Reid, Joseph Williams-Powell, and Willie Rooks all scored in double figures for the Lions.
– Reid led all scorers with 29 points, including a dramatic contested three-pointer with 0.6 seconds remaining in regulation to send the game to overtime.
– Williams-Powell scored 16 points with seven rebounds, including five offensive boards. Rooks netted 16 points with three steals, three rebounds, and two blocks
– The Lion bench outscored the Mustangs’ bench 22-11.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Lions fell behind early following a 9-0 run by Midwestern State to begin the game. The first start snapped when Rooks knocked down a three-pointer to give the Lions their first points of the game. A&M- Commerce would not grab their early lead of the game until seven minutes into the game when senior forward Dorian Armstrong hit his first three-pointer of the game.
The rest of the first half was a back-and-forth contest, with the Lions leading 41-36 at the break. Both teams had near identical shooting percentages from the floor and behind the arc while Rooks led all scorers at halftime with 13 points.
Forward Aaron Horne hit one of A&M-Commerce’s 13 triples to start the second half, but the Mustangs continued to battle back, eventually narrowing the Lion lead to one point in the early minutes of the period. Williams-Powell added a spark to the Lions’ offense, but it would remain a one-possession game throughout much of the second half.
The Mustangs tied the game at 59-all with about 10 minutes left, when Reid knocked down a three-pointer to regain the advantage. At times, the Lions found themselves trailing by a point but would quickly retake the lead following their next possession.
Midwestern State made its free throws down the stretch to push the Mustangs’ lead to 79-76 in the closing seconds of regulation. The most significant shot of the night came when Reid banked in a desperation shot for three of his 29 points, tying the score at 79 apiece with 0.6 seconds left on the clock.
In overtime, Reid got the scoring started with a jumper in the paint and Rooks would knock down another three-pointer to quickly give the Lions a five-point lead. Keeping with the trend of the night, Midwestern State battled back, forcing A&M-Commerce to make its free throws at the end.
The Lions recorded their nineteenth takeaway of the night and dribbled out the clock to preserve a hard-fought 91-88 win.
Lions knock off Midwestern State 76-50, reach double-digit conference wins.
COMMERCE– The Texas A&M University-Commerce women’s basketball defeated Midwestern State 76-50 on Thursday. The Lions never trailed in the game.
With the win, the Lions improve to 14-5 on the season and 10-1 in the Lone Star Conference. The win gives the Lions a win over every team in the LSC, the second consecutive season the team has pulled off the feat. The Lions have won nine conference games in a row and eight games in a row.
The Lions return to action on Saturday with a game against Cameron. The game will be at 2:00 p.m. at the Field House. The Lions defeated the Aggies earlier this season on the road in overtime.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
– Artaejah Gay returned from a two-game absence to lead the Lions with a season-high 27 points. She also had a double-double with ten rebounds. Gay shot 12-of-18 from the field.
– Melanie Ransom had 14 points and five rebounds, hitting three triples in the game.
– Jenna Price had 10 points and seven rebounds. Brianna Wise added eight points and ten rebounds.
– Princess Davis and Wise each had four assists in the game.
– The Lions have won eight games in a row, the second-longest winning streak in school history.
– The Lions had 26 offensive rebounds in the game, which led to 31 second-chance points. The Lions had more offensive rebounds than defensive boards.
– The Lions never trailed in the game.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Gay scored the first points of the game for the Lions as the Lions scored the first five of the game. The Mustangs then scored the next four points as the Lions went without a basket for nearly three minutes. Gay again hit a shot as she was often involved. Midway through the first quarter, the Lions held a 7-6 lead.
The Lions went on a run late in the first quarter. Ransom hit a three and Nance got to the free throw line as the Lions built a seven-point lead. A late three from MSU sent the Lions into the second quarter with a 16-12 lead.
The Mustangs hit the first shot of the second quarter before Gay had consecutive baskets to build the Lion lead back up to six points. Both teams had multiple trips to the foul line early in the second quarter. Wise then got on the board for the first time midway through the second quarter as the Lions held a 24-20 lead.
The Lions hit back-to-back threes to build their lead back up to seven points. Both teams missed several shots at the end of the quarter before Gay hit a late bucket in the paint to send the Lions into halftime with a 32-25 lead.
Gay led all scorers with 12 points in the first half to go along with six rebounds. Ransom added six with two threes in half. Wise had five points and five rebounds. The Lions caused 11 MSU turnovers in the first half and had 13 second-chance points.
The Lions began to pull away in the second half, outscoring the Mustangs 20-9 in the quarter. Gay hit a shot to open the quarter and Price also hit a basket to give the Lions their first double-digit lead of the game. Gay once again had her way in the paint, scoring another bucket in the paint. The Lions led 41-29 midway through the third quarter.
Ransom had five points in a row as the Lions continued to build their lead. A late layup from Gay took the Lions into the fourth quarter with a 49-33 lead.
Gay hit a three to open up the fourth quarter as the Lions continued to roll. Wise hit a three with seven minutes remaining to bring the Lion lead up to 20 points. Gay hit consecutive shots again as the Lions built the lead even further.
The Lions brought their lead to as many as 29 points late in the game, winning their eighth game in a row and the ninth conference game in a row.
Lions drop to 18th in latest NABC Poll after two close conference losses.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Texas A&M University-Commerce men’s basketball team has fallen eight spots to No. 18 in the latest National Association of Basketball Coaches Division II Poll, as released Tuesday. The NABC has ranked the Lions in the top 25 for the fourth consecutive week.
The Lions suffered two close road losses last week to nationally ranked conference opponents in No. 9 UT Permian Basin and No. 11 West Texas A&M, bringing the Lions to 7-2 after the first round of Lone Star Conference action. With their win on Monday, A&M-Commerce is 15-3 on the year.
The Lions continue their three-game homestand with two LSC rematches at the Field House. The Lions will face Midwestern State at 7:30 on Thursday. The Lions defeated the Mustangs 95-77 on Dec. 2. They will then host Cameron on Saturday at 4 p.m. The Lions beat the Aggies on a last-second shot in Lawton, Okla. on Nov. 30. All Lion basketball games are broadcast on the Lion Sports Network, with KETR 88.9 FM as the flagship station, streaming online at KETR.org. Tickets for this weekend’s men’s and women’s basketball games are available HERE, or at the box office located inside the Field House.
NABC/Division II Rankings
(Jan. 23, 2018 – Poll No. 9)
|1.||West Liberty, W.Va. (16)||17-0||400||1|
|2.||Lincoln Memorial, Tenn.||17-1||382||3|
|4.||Ferris State, Mich.||18-1||346||5|
|7.||Northwest Missouri State||16-2||304||2|
|9.||UT Permian Basin||16-2||263||11|
|11.||West Texas A&M||17-2||233||7|
|12.||Northern State, S.D.||20-2||227||8|
|14.||Valdosta State, Ga.||17-2||187||21|
|16.||Southern Nazarene, Okla.||14-1||139||24|
|19.||Wheeling Jesuit, W.Va.||14-3||99||16|
|20.||West Chester, Pa.||15-2||81||18|
|21.||Fort Lewis, Colo.||16-3||68||NR|
|22.||Dallas Baptist, Texas||15-3||64||17|
|25.||Cal Poly Pomona||14-3||37||NR|
Others receiving votes: Barry (Fla.) 16, Carson-Newman (Tenn.) 15, Bridgeport (Conn.) 14, Clark Atlanta (Ga.) 10, Cal State San Marcos 8, California Baptist 7, Le Moyne (N.Y.) 7, Chaminade (Hawai’i) 6, Shippensburg (Pa.) 6, UNC Pembroke 4, Azusa Pacific (Calif.) 2, Eckerd (Fla.) 2, Fairmont State (W.Va.) 1.
Dropped out: Barry (19), Christian Brothers (22), William Jewell (25).
Records are through games of Jan. 21, 2018.