CARDINALS SQUEAK PAST LIONS, 65-64
Incarnate Word 65; A&M-Commerce 64
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Records: Incarnate Word (15-6, 11-4 LSC); A&M-Commerce (7-13, 5-10 LSC)
Up Next: vs. Texas A&M-Kingsville – Saturday Feb. 16 – 2:00 p.m. – The Field House
San Antonio, Texas – Free throws down the stretch allowed Incarnate Word survive at home against A&M-Commerce. The Cardinals stayed one possession ahead of the Lions during the last 90 seconds make key free throws to keep the lead at two possessions and forcing the Lions to make threes or keep fouling to extend the game.
The loss is the fourth straight for the Lions and five of their last seven. It also puts added emphasis on the game Saturday against A&M-Kingsville in terms of standings to make the LSC tournament next month.
Both sides traded baskets in the opening minutes with neither team being able to pull away from each other. The Lions were able get a little bit od breathing room when Symone Brown connected on a three to make it 24-18 with 6:07 left in the opening half. UIW quickly responded with a nine nothing run of their own to take a 27-24 lead with 2:20 left in the half. The Cardinals held off the Lions for the remaining two minutes and took a 33-28 lead into the break.
The teams were fairly even in the opening 20 minutes with both teams scoring 16 points in the paint. Incarnate Word held an 8-4 advantage in points off turnovers and held a 15-2 advantage in bench points.
Incarnate Word got off to good start n the second half extending their lead to seven at 39-32 off two free throws from Rose Whitehead. A&M-Commerce chipped away at the lead over the next four minutes and took the lead when Aubree Butts fed Brown for a lay-up to make it 40-39 at the 13:34 mark.
A lay-up by Ashlyn Green made it 45-43 at 8:36 and the Cardinals extended the lead back to eight with a jumper by Whitehead. The Lions slowly cut the lead to three with 1:33 left after two free throws by Breanna Harris.
Green went to the line after a Lion turnover to make it a four-point game, 59-55. Koutney Briscoe put an offense rebound back up and in to make it 59-57 with 16 seconds left. Joslinn Douglas made two free throws to put the lead back at four. Danielle Dixon was fouled and converted her two free throws to make it 61-59 with 14 seconds left. Douglas was fouled and made two more free throws to put the lead at 63-59 with 12 seconds left. Dixon made a layup with six seconds left to make it a two-point game again at 63-61. Green went back to line and made two more free throws to make it a four-point game with 4 seconds left. Dixon hit a three as time expired as the Lions came up one point short.
Dixon led all scorers with 23 points on 8-20 from the field. Harris had her usual double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Brown also finished in double figures for the Lions to continue her great play of late with 13 points and 7 boards. A&M-Commerce struggled again from behind the three-point line shooting only 27 percent. However the Lions shot a season best 88% from the charity stripe.
Green led the Cardinals with her 19 and seven effort. Rose Whitehead finished with 17 points and nine rebounds. Joshlinn Dougals also finished in double figures with 14. Ifunanya Mora had eight points, seven rebounds and six blocks.
The Lions return home this Saturday to face Texas A&M-Kingsville at the Field House. Game time is set for 2:00 p.m. and is the Pink Zone game to raise awareness for Breast Cancer Research.