Angelo State 87, A&M-Commerce 67
Location: Junell Center * San Angelo, Texas
Records: A&M-Commerce (6-9, 1-6 LSC); Angelo State (7-10, 1-7 LSC)
Up Next: vs. Tarleton State * Wednesday, January 18 * 8 p.m. * The Field House
SAN ANGELO, Texas – For the second-straight game, A&M-Commerce serves as the first Lone Star Conference victory for its opponent. A 41-9 Angelo State run, spanning over 15 minutes, did in the Lions as A&M-Commerce falls 87-67 at the Junell Center Saturday night. The Lions have now dropped back-to-back Lone Star Conference games, sitting at 1-6 in LSC play and fighting to remain among the top-eight.
After being held scoreless for the first time in his career against Abilene Christian Wednesday night, Brad Hambrick responded by scoring a team-high 15 points with four rebounds while fellow senior Desmond King added 10 points and four rebounds for the Lions. LaBree Sledge and Quince Jackson each added eight points for A&M-Commerce, which was a career-high for Jackson.
Devondrick Walker, Andrew Davis and Mouhamadou N'doye each finished with six points and two rebounds on the night for A&M, with N'doye adding a pair of blocks defensively. Esteban Arriola added four points off the bench for the Lions while dishing out a team-best four assists.
Angelo State, seeking its first LSC victory of the season, raced out to a fast start on its home court, building a 12-point lead at 29-17 with just under 10 minutes to play in the opening half. But A&M-Commerce seemed to find its groove in the latter portion of the stanza, compiling an 18-5 run of its own to take the lead at 35-34 with 3:40 to play in the first half.
However, Angelo State mounted a late charge of its own, scoring the final nine points of the half to reclaim control, taking a 43-35 lead into halftime.
That surge at the end of the first half carried over into the second for the Rams, as over the next 10 minutes, Angelo State continued to extend its advantage over A&M-Commerce. When the dust settled with 9:32 remaining in the game, the Rams had outscored the Lions 41-9 and held a commanding 31-point lead at 75-44. The Lions were able to shave some off the deficit, pulling to within 20 at 87-67.
Both teams were nearly identical from the floor with the Lions shooting 45.1 percent, compared to the Rams' 48.5 percent. But A&M-Commerce struggled all night from beyond the three-point arc, hitting just five of its 20 attempts (25 percent) while Angelo State was 12-of-29 (41.4 percent). The Lions also committed 23 turnovers, which led to an 18-4 points-off-turnovers gap for the Rams.
LaDonn Huckaby led Angelo State with 17 points and nine rebounds while Javae King-Gilchrist recorded a double-double for the Rams, finishing with 16 points and 11 assists. Hanif Nixon-Hughes added 14 points for Angelo State with Reggie Brice adding eight rebounds.
With the loss, the Lions remain in eighth place in the LSC standings, holding a slim half-game lead over both Abilene Christian and Angelo State, missing a golden opportunity to put some breathing room between themselves and those below in the standings. The upcoming schedule doesn't look any easier for A&M-Commerce as it opens up a home-and-home series with conference-leading and nationally-ranked Tarleton State this week. The Lions and Texans square off at 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Field House before meeting again next Saturday in Stephenville.