BALANCED ATTACK LEADS A&M-COMMERCE TO 82-67 VICTORY OVER HARDING
A&M-Commerce 82, Harding 67
Location: St. Edward's University • Austin, Texas
Records: A&M-Commerce (4-6); Harding (4-6)
Up Next: vs. Henderson State • Monday, December 19 • 2 p.m. • Austin, Texas
AUSTIN, Texas – A&M-Commerce used a balanced offensive attack, with five different Lions scoring in double figures, as the Lions pulled away in the second half to notch an 82-67 victory over Harding at Alumni Gym at St. Edward's University. It was the second-straight win for A&M-Commerce, which improves to 4-6 on the year.
Preston Whitley once again paced the Lions, recording a season-high 19 points against the Bison with Brad Hambrick finishing with 17 points and five assists, including hitting four of his five three-point attempts.
Desmond King posted 13 points in the victory with LaBree Sledge finishing with 12 points and eight assists for A&M-Commerce. Andrew Davis was the fifth Lion to finish in double figures, posting 11 points with four rebounds. Mouhamadou N'doye also had an impressive game off the bench, tying a career-high with four blocked shots with a career-best eight rebounds in 11 minutes of play.
Both A&M-Commerce and Harding battled all through the opening 20 minutes as neither team was able to establish a lead of more than five points. The Lions and Bison combined for five ties and eight lead changes through the opening half as a Sledge jumper with 30 seconds remaining sent the teams to the locker room tied at 30.
The first 12 minutes of the second half proved to be just as competitive of the first as neither team was able to establish a lead of more than three points. A dunk by Harding's Deantra Scott with 8:10 remaining tied the game at 54-54, a basket which seemed to turn momentum back in the Bison's favor.
But the opposite occurred, as it was A&M-Commerce that found a spark down the stretch. The Lions put together a 16-3 run, including a pair of lay-ups from Brown and a big three-pointer from Hambrick, breaking the game open and building a 70-57 advantage with 4:29 to play.
From there, A&M-Commerce kept Harding at bay, extending its lead to as many as 16 at 80-64 with 1:12 to play, before crusing to the 82-67. The Lions had the hot hand all evening, shooting 58.8 percent from the floor, including hitting 46.7 percent from beyond the three-point line.
But it was a blistering 79.2 percent shooting percentage (19-of-24) in the second half that tilted momentum into the Lions' favor. A&M-Commerce also hit three of its four three-point attempts in the half (75 percent) while hitting 11 of 15 free throw attempts (73.3 percent).
It was A&M-Commerce's most convincing win of the year, having won its previous three games of the season by three, one and two points. The Lions also improved to 2-1 all-time against Harding.
The Bison were led by 19 points from Hayden Johnson with Bradley Spencer adding 17 points and Scott finishing with 13 points. Zach Roddenberry led Harding with seven rebounds, adding seven points in defeat.
The Lions will have little time to relish the victory as they will be back on the court at St. Edward's University at 2 p.m. Monday afternoon, facing the Reddies of Henderson State. J.P. Heath will broadcast the game live on KETR 88.9 FM or online at KETR.org, with live video and live stat links available at LionAthletics.com.