Ouachita Baptist 71, A&M-Commerce 56
Location: Bill Vining Arena · Arkadelphia, Ark.
Records: A&M-Commerce (3-4); Ouachita Baptist (7-1)
Up Next: at Henderson State · Tuesday, Dec. 18 · 6 p.m. · Arkadelphia, Ark.
ARKADELPHIA, Ark. – A&M-Commerce put together a strong opening half, giving Ouachita Baptist all it could handle. But a sluggish second half did in the Lions as A&M-Commerce fell 71-56 at Bill Vining Arena. The loss is the fourth-straight for the Lions who fall to 3-4 on the year.
A&M-Commerce finished the game shooting just 28.3 percent from the floor, including hitting just five of its 24 attempts in the second half (20.8%). The Lions were just 2-for-9 from three-point range (22.2%), including going 0-for-6 in the second. A&M-Commerce was efficient from the free throw line, shooting 76.9 percent (20-of-26).
Breanna Harris led the Lion offense with 13 points and six rebounds, just ahead of the 12 points added by Kourtney Briscoe on the afternoon. Aubree Butts notched eight points for A&M-Commerce with Shanekqua Bibbs and Amber Carver notching six points each.
Back on the court following a week off for finals, A&M-Commerce began the night strong, building a four-point lead at 13-9 off a three-pointer from Bibbs with 13 minutes left in the opening stanza. The Lions retained the lead for the majority of the remainder of the half, leading by as many as six at 29-23 off a pair of free throws from Harris, carrying a 33-30 lead into intermission.
The Lions retained the advantage through the first media timeout of the second half as a pair of free throws from Briscoe gave A&M-Commerce the 36-33 advantage. But the Tigers began to settle into their offensive groove as Ouachita Baptist outscored the Lions 19-8 over the next six minutes, taking an eight-point lead at 52-44 at the midway point of the second half.
Ouachita Baptist continued to pull away down the stretch, using an 11-3 over the next four minutes to pull ahead by double digits at 63-51 with six minutes remaining. Another extended Tiger run gave Ouachita Baptist its largest lead of the game at 71-52 with 3:26 remaining as Ouachita Baptist cruised to the 71-56 victory.
A&M-Commerce remains winless in the all-time series against Ouachita Baptist, falling to 0-8 all-time against the Tigers. Four players finished in double figures for Ouachita, led by Nashia James' 21 points and five rebounds. Kendra Coyle and Monica Williams each had 12 points for the Tigers with six and nine rebounds, respectively.
The Lions make a return trip to Arkadelphia, Ark., this coming Tuesday when A&M-Commerce takes on Henderson State in the final game of the 2012 calendar year. Opening tip against the Lady Reddies is set for 6 p.m. with live stats available at LionAthletics.com.