SLOW START DOOMS LIONS IN 69-50 LOSS TO 10TH-RANKED MUSTANGS
No. 10 Midwestern State 69, A&M-Commerce 50
Location: D.L. Ligon Coliseum * Wichita Falls, Texas
Records: A&M-Commerce (6-12, 1-9 LSC); Midwestern State (16-1, 9-1 LSC)
Up Next: vs. Cameron * Saturday, January 28 * 8 p.m. * The Field House
WICHITA FALLS, Texas – Another sluggish start put A&M-Commerce in a huge hole early and the Lions were never able to recover against 10th-ranked Midwestern State, falling to the Mustangs 69-50 at D.L. Ligon Coliseum. A&M-Commerce's losing skid has now hit five games as the Lions drop to 6-12 on the year and 1-9 in Lone Star Conference play.
Desmond King and Esteban Arriola led the Lions with 10 points each on the night with King pulling down three rebounds. Andrew Davis finished with nine points for A&M-Commerce while Mouhamadou N'doye recorded a career-best eight points with three rebounds and a pair of blocks against the Mustangs.
Justin Fairman had five points and a team-high six rebounds with an assist and a block, earning his third start of the season. Brad Hambrick struggled from the floor against Midwestern State, recording just two points off a pair of free throws while going 0-for-6 from the floor.
In a story that has become far too common for A&M-Commerce this season, the Lions came out cold in the opening minutes of the game as the 10th-ranked Mustangs reeled off the game's first 15 points over the first four and a half minutes, setting the tone for the rest of the game.
The Lions were able to pull to within 10 at 18-8 at the midway point of the opening half, but that was as close as A&M-Commerce would get to Midwestern State on the evening. The Mustangs would extend their lead to 22 at 36-14 before taking a 36-16 lead into halftime. The 16 points scored in the first half was the lowest output by the Lions all season, one point less than the 17 points registered in the opening half at Tarleton State last Saturday.
The second half didn't fare much better for A&M-Commerce as Midwestern State extended its lead to 27 at 63-37 with just over five minutes remaining in the game. The Mustangs would match that lead two minutes later, cementing the victory. The Lions would make a late run, scoring the game's final eight points and pulling the final score to 69-50.
A&M-Commerce struggled from the floor in the opening half, hitting just five of its 24 shots (20.8 percent), while going 0-for-6 from beyond the three-point arc. The Lions finished the game shooting 34.0 percent (17-of-50) and continued to struggle from three-point range, hitting just one of 11 shots on the night (9.1 percent). A&M-Commerce was also outrebounded by Midwestern State 44-33, including 17-8 on the offensive glass.
JaMichael Rivers paced the Mustangs with a game-high 18 points with five rebounds while Michael Loyd just missed a double-double, finishing with 12 points and nine assists. Keonte' Logan had nine points and four assists for Midwestern State while Thomas Colbert finished with a game-high six rebounds. The victory for the Mustangs was their eighth-straight over the Lions.
A&M-Commerce looks to break out of its five-game skid, returning to the Field House for a meeting with Cameron Saturday, January 28. The Aggies currently sit in third place in the LSC standings and handed the Lions an 81-58 loss in Lawton, Okla., back on December 3rd. Tip-off against the Aggies is scheduled for 8 p.m.