A&M International 78, A&M-Commerce 67
Location: Mountain View College Gymnasium • Dallas, Texas
Records: A&M-Commerce (1-8); A&M International (7-5)
Up Next: vs. Newman • Thursday, December 29 • 5:30 p.m. • The Field House
DALLAS -- A&M-Commerce looked good early against Texas A&M International Saturday afternoon, but a Dustdevil surge in the second half proved to be too much for the Lions to handle as A&M-Commerce falls to A&M International 78-67 at Mountain View College in Dallas. The Lions drop their fifth straight, falling to 1-8 on the season.
Breanna Harris had another solid outing for A&M-Commerce, posting a career-best 15 points with eight rebounds, including hitting 11 of her 15 free throw attempts on the day. Danielle Dixon finished with 14 points and six rebounds for the Lions while Michelle Sutton had a big day, knocking down a career-best 11 points, including hitting three of her four three-point attempts.
Abigail Leaupepe-Tele had a strong outing off the bench for A&M-Commerce, finishing with seven points and five rebounds in eight minutes of work, tying her season-high in both categories. Freshmen La'Tisha Hearne and Devin Oliver each added six points on the day for the Lions.
Despite the game having to be moved to Mountain View College in Dallas due to a scheduling conflict with A&M-Commerce's commencement festivities, it had somewhat of a home court feel as Mountain View's mascot is also the Lions and boast the same blue and yellow school colors as A&M-Commerce. The Lions seemed to feed off that karma early on, hitting some big shots early and building a 17-9 advantage midway through the opening half.
But A&M International, a team that thrives off the three-point shot, began to find its groove as the Dustdevils began to hit some key treys, including some from well beyond the arc. A&M International, using a 20-10 run to take its first lead of the game at 29-27 with 4:14 remaining in the first.
The two teams would exchange baskets down the stretch, as a pair of free throws by Harris cut the Lion deficit to one at 33-32 heading into halftime.
After a quick three to take a four-point lead early in the second, another pair of Harris free throws pulled A&M-Commerce to within two at 36-34, but that would be as close as the Lions would get for the rest of the game. The Dustdevils began to distance themselves, using a 9-2 run to build a 45-36 lead at the 15:43 mark, then eventually extended that cushion to 15 before cruising to the 78-67 decision.
A&M International shot 41.3 percent for the game (26-of-63) and put up 23 three-point attempts, hitting eight of them (34.8 percent) while shooting 18 of their 29 free throw attempts (62.1 percent). On the flip side, A&M-Commerce shot 37.5 percent from the floor (21-of-56) while connecting on five of their 10 three-pointers (50.0 percent) and 20 of 30 free throws (66.7 percent).
But it was the second half shooting that did in the Lions as A&M Commerce shot just 31 percent in the half (9-of-29) while A&M International connected on 53.1 percent of its shots (17-of-32). The Lions also finished the game with 20 turnovers, compared to 13 for the Dustdevils.
Re'Nikia Meshack led the Dustdevils with 17 points on the afternoon while Angie Villanueva finished with 14 points and Nikkita Scott added 12 for A&M International, who improve to 7-5 on the year and have now won three in a row, including a staggering 104-16 victory over Arlington Baptist.
A&M-Commerce will now have an extended break for the Christmas holiday before returning to the court at the Field House on Thursday, December 29 when it faces Newman. Opening tip against the Jets is set for 5:30 p.m.