A&M-Commerce 63, A&M-Kingsville 58
Location: Hampton Inn Court · Kingsville, Texas
Records: A&M-Commerce (5-5, 3-2 LSC); A&M-Kingsville (3-8, 1-4 LSC)
Up Next: vs. Midwestern State · Wednesday, Jan. 9 · 5:30 p.m. · The Field House
KINGSVILLE, Texas – Behind double-doubles from Breanna Harris and Aubree Butts, A&M-Commerce rallied back from a 13-point first half deficit to knock off Texas A&M-Kingsville 63-58 at Hampton Inn Court Saturday afternoon. The win pulls the Lions' season record even at 5-5 while improving to 3-2 in Lone Star Conference play.
The victory over A&M-Kingsville snaps a two-game skid to the Javelinas as A&M-Commerce improves to 30-28 in the all-time series between the two longtime rivals. But the win snapped an even more dubious streak as the Lions bring a 37-game road losing streak to a halt, dating back to a 68-67 win at Eastern New Mexico in 2009.
Harris led the way for the Lions, finishing with 21 points and 13 rebounds, including nine offensive boards, with a pair of blocks to notch her fourth double-double of the season. Butts complemented the scoring attack with the second double-double of her career, posting 13 points and 10 rebounds with five steals for A&M-Commerce.
La'Tisha Hearne continued her solid play, recording 12 points and seven rebounds with Amber Carver adding nine points and seven rebounds for the Lions. Devin Oliver finished with six points and three assists as well to help pace A&M-Commerce.
The day didn't start out the way head coach Nicole Anderson would have liked, however, as the Javelinas came out firing from the opening whistle, building a 13-point lead at 19-6 midway through the opening half as the Lions struggled to get shots to fall.
But the extended run by the Javelinas seemed to spark the A&M-Commerce offense as the Lions reeled off a 14-0 run over the next six minutes, claiming its first lead of the game at 20-19 with 4:06 remaining in the opening half. The Lions would extend its lead to as many as four at 26-22 before the Javelinas scored five of the last six points of the half, tying the game at 27-27 at halftime.
With the first half being a game of runs by both teams, the second half played out as an old-fashioned slugfest as the Lions and Javelinas combined for five ties and 11 lead changes through the opening 12 minutes of the second. With A&M-Kingsville leading 48-45, A&M-Commerce strung together a 7-0 run, pulling ahead 52-48 and establishing a lead it would never relinquish.
The Lions used another 6-0 run to build a 58-50 advantage, their largest of the game, then withheld one final Javelina surge as Harris, Butts and Kourtney Briscoe converted on key field goal and free throw attempts in the waning minutes to seal the 63-58 victory over their South Texas rivals.
Neither team shot particularly well from the floor as A&M-Commerce shot 32.9 percent for the game, but used a 41.7 percent shooting percentage in the second half to help break the game open. The Lions failed to hit a three pointer in the game, going 0-for-10 from beyond the arc, but hit 62.5 percent of its free throws. A&M-Kingsville shot 32.3 percent for the game, including 30.0 percent from three-point range and 80.0 percent from the free throw line.
Sheana Jones and Kaitlyn Lowen each recorded 12 points for A&M-Kingsville in the loss with Lowen pulling down nine rebounds. Breanna Gonzalez added 10 points and five assists for the Javelinas who dropped their seventh-straight game, falling to 3-8 on the year and 1-4 in LSC play.
A&M-Commerce returns home looking to build on its two-game winning streak, hosting Midwestern State Wednesday at the Field House. The Lions will be seeking to match their three-game winning streak from the beginning of the season as opening tip against the Mustangs is set for 5:30 p.m. Full coverage of the game, including live video, live stats, online audio and Twitter updates, will be available at LionAthletics.com.