A&M-Commerce 91, Dallas Baptist 87 (OT)
Location: The Field House • Commerce, Texas
Records: A&M-Commerce (2-1); Dallas Baptist (1-1)
Up Next: vs. East Central • Friday, Nov. 16 • 5 p.m. • Stephenville, Texas
COMMERCE, Texas – Trailing by five with one minute left in regulation, A&M-Commerce roared back to force overtime, then never let up as the Lions rally to capture a 91-87 overtime thriller against Dallas Baptist at the Field House. A&M-Commerce improves to 2-1 on the year and captured a victory in its 2012-13 home opener.
"The biggest compliment I can give our guys is that they never felt they had lost," said head coach Sam Walker. "They never hung their heads, they never felt the game was over. They are a resilient bunch that showed a lot of heart out there against a very good team and hopefully set a tone for the rest of the season."
Three Lions finished in double figures, led by another double-double from Andrew Davis, who posted a career-best 20 points with 11 rebounds for his third double-double of the season. Quince Jackson also set a career-best with 17 points and a team-best six assists with Jason Smith adding 15 points and seven rebounds.
Dallas Baptist, coming off a win over Lone Star Conference rival Abilene Christian in its season opener, came out the aggressor in the early going, however, dominating the offensive boards and the the paint, building a commanding 21-10 lead with just over 11 minutes remaining in the opening half.
But the Lions continued to slowly chip away at the Patriot advantage as a layup from Jackson with 2:43 remaining gave A&M-Commerce its first lead of the game at 37-35. But after pulling to within two, a dunk by Dallas Baptist with 10 seconds remaining sent the game into the half deadlocked at 40-40.
Both teams continued to play even through the first half of the second as neither team was able to push its lead to more than two in the early going. Leading 63-61, Dallas Baptist once again began to find its groove, pulling ahead by eight at 73-65 with five minutes remaining and seemed to be on the edge of putting the game away.
But the Lions showed their resiliency, pulling to within one at 73-72, only to see Dallas Baptist reclaim a five point lead with one minute to go. With the Patriots looking to seal the victory, Davis recorded a block on a layup attempt, which led to a fastbreak lay-up from Smith.
On the next Patriot possession, with time winding down in regulation, Smith then recorded a big steal under the Dallas Baptist basket and fed the ball upcourt to Wooten, who nailed a three-pointer in transition to tie the game at 78-78 with four seconds left. Another strong Lion defensive stop then sent the game to overtime as the Patriots were unable to get a clean look at the basket.
Fueled on by a crowd of over 1,000 strong, the Lions fed off the momentum, using a 9-2 run to start overtime and build a commanding 87-80 lead with 1:35 remaining, its largest of the game. Some key free throws down the stretch kept Dallas Baptist at bay as the Lions held on to notch the 91-87 victory.
For the game, A&M-Commerce shot 47.8 percent from the floor, including hitting 4-of-5 in the overtime period. The victory for the Lions comes despite struggles from both the three-point arc and the free throw line as A&M-Commerce shot just 27.3 percent (6-of-22) and 59.4 percent (19-of-32) respectively. But the Lions hit the shots when it counted to improve to 2-1 on the young season.
It's back on the road for Walker's crew as A&M-Commerce heads to Stephenville for the 2012 Taco Bell Tarleton Texan Tip-Off Classic this weekend. The Lions open up the weekend facing East Central on Friday, followed by a rematch with UT-Permian Basin on Saturday. Both games get underway at 5 p.m. with live stats available at LionAthletics.com.