A&M-COMMERCE DROPS HOME OPENER, 65-53, TO MIDWESTERN STATE
Midwestern State 65, A&M-Commerce 53
Location: The Field House • Commerce, Texas
Records: A&M-Commerce (2-3, 0-1 LSC); Midwestern State (6-0, 1-0 LSC)
Up Next: at Cameron • Saturday, December 3 • 4 p.m.
COMMERCE, Texas -- Another slow start and an extended Midwestern State run in the second half proved to be too much for A&M-Commerce to overcome as the Lions drop its home and Lone Star Conference opener to the Mustangs 65-53 at the Field House.
The senior duo of Brad Hambrick and Desmond King once again led the way, notching a dozen points each for A&M-Commerce. Hambrick was just two-of-four from the field but hit seven-of-eight free throws for the Lions with a pair of rebounds. King finished with a team-best six rebounds to complement his four-of-nine shooting.
LaBree Sledge posted six points for A&M-Commerce with Devondrick Walker and Esteban Arriola each adding five points off the bench. Andrew Davis had four points and five rebounds while Mouhamadou N'doye had his best game in a Lion uniform, racking up a career-best four blocked shots and three rebounds in 13 minutes of work.
A&M-Commerce has been prone to slow starts through the early part of the season, and Wednesday's home and conference opener played out in similar fashion as the Lions made just one of seven shots with seven turnovers over a seven-minute span in the first half, digging themselves an early 13-point deficit at 22-9.
Midwestern State would keep the advantage in double-digits for the remainder of the half, taking a 30-19 lead into the halftime break. The Mustangs dominated the Lions in the paint, outscoring A&M-Commerce 22-10 as the Lions shot just 28.6 percent from the field in the first half, including 16.7 percent from three-point range.
Early in the second, momentum seemed to swing back into A&M-Commerce's favor as a pair of technical fouls by Anthony Harris cut the Mustang lead to eight at 33-25. The Lions began to chip away at the deficit, pulling to within five at 43-38 midway through the second half.
But holding on to a 47-40 lead, Midwestern State would string together a 13-1 run to break the game open, building a commanding 20-point cushion at 61-41 with five minutes to play and never looked back. A pair of late three pointers cut the margin to 12 at 65-53, but it was too little too late as the Lions fall to 2-3 on the year and 0-1 in Lone Star Conference play.
Midwestern State had three players finish in double-figures, led by double-doubles from both David Terrell and Darrick Thomas. Terrell finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds while Thomas had 17 points and 12 boards, seven of which were offensive. Michael Loyd added 13 points for the Mustangs who improve to 6-0 on the year and 1-0 in LSC play.
A&M-Commerce will have a few days to work on what needs to be fixed before heading to Lawton, Okla., for a Lone Star Conference meeting with Cameron Saturday afternoon. The Aggies swept both meetings against the Lions in 2010-11, although A&M-Commerce is 7-3 in the last 10 meetings between the two. Tip-off at Aggie Gym is scheduled for 4 p.m. Saturday afternoon as Lion fans can listen live on KETR 88.9 FM or online at KETR.org. Live stats will also be available at LionAthletics.com.