LIONS DOMINATED ON BOARDS IN 85-67 DEFEAT AT MIDWESTERN STATE
Midwestern State 85, A&M-Commerce 67
Location: D.L. Ligon Coliseum • Wichita Falls, Texas
Records: A&M-Commerce (14-11, 7-8 LSC); Midwestern State (18-6, 14-3 LSC)
Up Next: vs. Cameron • Saturday, Feb. 23 • 7:00 p.m.
WICHITA FALLS, Texas – A&M-Commerce came into D.L. Ligon Coliseum riding a three-game winning streak, but the Lions ran into an intense Midwestern State team that ended up having its way with A&M-Commerce both on the boards and on the scoreboard, cruising to the 85-67 victory.
The loss drops the Lions to 14-11 on the year and 7-8 in Lone Star Conference play as A&M-Commerce sits in sole possession of sixth-place in the LSC standings. Midwestern State clinched the regular season conference title and the number one overall seed in the upcoming LSC tournament in two weeks.
On paper, the Lions appeared to have a decent showing, shooting 51.2 percent from the floor (21-41). But A&M-Commerce took 32 fewer shots than Midwestern State who dominated on the boards, outrebounding the Lions 49-23, including holding a 31-6 advantage in offensive rebounds. A&M-Commerce, who came into the game leading the conference in three-point field goal percentage, hit just two of its 13 attempts, including going 0-for-7 in the second half, to post a dismal 15.4 percent from beyond the arc.
Devondrick Walker led the way for A&M-Commerce, finishing with 17 points and four rebounds and was the only Lion to hit a three-pointer, going 2-for-4 from three-point range. Stefon Carson added 11 points, going 2-for-2 from the floor and 7-of-10 from the free throw line, with four assists.
Andrew Davis, who earlier in the day was named a Capital One first team Academic All-American, notched eight points with a pair of rebounds while Jason Smith posted six points, six rebounds and five assists. Quince Jackson also added six points off the bench for the Lions.
With A&M-Commerce needing just one more win to clinch a spot in the LSC tournament for the ninth-straight year, the Lions came into the game confident, sparked by a hot start by Walker. The junior had eight points in the first six minutes as A&M-Commerce built a six-point lead at 16-10 at the 14:00 mark.
But fueled on by a home loss to Angelo State Saturday evening, Midwestern State had something to prove and used the Lions to vent its frustration. The Mustangs put together a 17-1 run spanning the next five minutes, building a double-digit lead at 27-17 and never looked back, extending that lead to 14 at 46-32 at halftime.
Midwestern State picked up right where it left off early in the second half, using a 13-0 run in the opening minutes to build a commanding 25-point lead at 66-41 and essentially thwarting any chances for the Lions to stage a comeback.
Trailing by as many as 26 midway through the second half, A&M-Commerce was able to as little as 16 at 82-66 with two minutes to play, but by then the Mustangs were on cruise control, beginning the celebration of clinching the regular season LSC title for the second-straight season.
With the victory, Midwestern State has now won 11 of the last 12 against A&M-Commerce, avenging the 74-66 Lion victory at the Field House back on January 9th. Head coach Sam Walker falls to 5-16 all-time against the Mustangs and is now 2-8 at D.L. Ligon Coliseum.
Corbin Thomas led the way for Midwestern State, logging 27 points and 18 rebounds, including 10 offensive boards. Keith Spellman and Jeff Grayer each finished with 13 points off the bench while Cam Adderley added 12 points and six rebounds.
Three games remain in the 2012-13 regular season as the Lions magic number remains at one to clinch a postseason berth. A&M-Commerce returns home for another big LSC showdown, facing second-place Cameron at the Field House Saturday. Opening tip against the Aggies is scheduled for 7 p.m. with full coverage (video, audio, live stats) available at LionAthletics.com.