Drury 87, A&M-Commerce 74
Location: O'Reilly Family Events Center, Springfield Mo.
Records: A&M-Commerce (1-1, LSC 0-0); Drury (2-1, 0-0 GLVC)
Up Next: at Dallas Baptist Nov. 25th 7:00 PM
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Desmond King notched his first double-double of the season, recording 23 points and adding 11 rebounds, but A&M-Commerce wasn't able to hold the lead in the second half, falling to Drury 87-74 at the O'Reilly Family Events Center.
King posted the third double-double of his A&M-Commerce career and set a new career-best with 11 boards, including four offensive. Devondrick Walker had a career-high 14 points off the bench for the Lions with three boards.
Three other Lions finished with nine points on the afternoon as Brad Hambrick added seven rebounds and two assists, LaBree Sledge led A&M-Commerce with four assists and Andrew Davis had four rebounds for the Lions.
A&M-Commerce and Drury exchanged leads in the early going with the Lions gaining control in the latter part of the opening half, building an eight-point lead at 30-22 off a jumper from Sledge with 4:01 remaining in the first.
The Panthers pulled to within three at 32-29, but a 6-0 run pushed the A&M-Commerce advantage to nine at 38-29 with just under a minute to play in the half as the Lions took a 38-31 lead into the intermission.
A&M-Commerce regained its nine-point cushion in the second half off a three-pointer from Sledge, holding a 43-34 edge with just over 18 minutes to play. But it was a lead the Lions were unable to hold as Drury strung together an 11-2 run over the next three minutes, pulling even with A&M-Commerce at 45-45.
The Lions were able to shake off the Panther run, extending its lead back to nine with a 9-0 run of its own, thanks in part to a dunk from Mouhamadou N'Doye and a layup from King, reclaiming control at 54-45 at the midway point of the second half.
But unfortunately, basketball games are 40 minutes in length and not 30 as Drury found its scoring streak in a big way. The Panthers pieced together a 20-1 run spanning the next two and a half minutes, taking a commanding 65-55 lead with 7:30 to play.
The Lions were able to whittle the lead down to two off a three-pointer from Hambrick, trailing 74-72 with three minutes remaining in the game. But spurred on by its home crowd, Drury used a 13-2 run to put the game away, handing the Lions their first loss of the season.
The Panther trio of Alex Hall, Dennon Mitchell and Cameron Adams sparked the second half offensive surge for Drury, posted 17, 15 and 13 points respectively in the second half alone. Mitchell and Adams were held scoreless in the first half while Hall had just six points at the intermission, finishing with 23 on the night to tie King for the game-high.
For the game, the Lions outshot the Panthers 45.8% to 39.7%, including hitting 53.5% of their shots in the first half. A&M-Commerce also held the advantage in three-point shooting (37.5% to 28.6%), but Drury shot 41 free throws on the night (compared to just 22 for A&M-Commerce), making 29 of them.
The Lions will now get some time to enjoy the Thanksgiving break before making the short trip to Dallas to compete in the Patriot Thanksgiving Classic at Dallas Baptist University this Friday and Saturday. A&M-Commerce will meet up with the host Patriots at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 25 before facing Arkansas-Fort Smith at 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 26. Following the pair of games at DBU, the Lions will play their first home game of the season on Wednesday, Nov. 30, hosting Midwestern State at 8 p.m. in what will also be A&M-Commerce's first Lone Star Conference game of the year.