Texas A&M University-Commerce had the lead for over 24 minutes versus Texas A&M University-Kingsville, but the Lions could not fend off the Javelinas and fell 76-72 at The Field House on Wednesday night. The Lions fall to 2-10 overall and 1-2 in Lone Star Conference play. The win lifts Kingsville to 6-6 overall and 1-1 in LSC play.
With 1:37 to play La'Tisha Hearne stepped to the line and made one of two free throws to tie the score at 69. After a defensive stop the Lions turned the ball over to the Javelinas and Lindsey Mahone put home a layup to give the visitors a two-point lead with 41 seconds to play.
After another Lion turnover Ashley Viera was fouled and made both chances from the line to give Kingsville a 73-69 lead with under half a minute to play. After Danielle Dixon missed a jumper the Lions were forced to foul again and sent Viera back to the line. Viera then made one of two. A Devin Oliver three-pointer then cut the lead to two at 74-72 with ten seconds left.
After Kingsville took a time out Dixon stole the ball from Rita Banaszczak and was fouled by Mahone. Dixon then stepped to the line in a one-and-one situation but missed the front end and Kingsville secured the rebound. The Javelinas would add on two more free throws to secure the four-point win.
The loss spoils a third straight double-double for Breanna Harris – 19 points and 12 rebounds – and Oliver tying a career high with 19 points. Hearne was also in double figures for the second straight game with 10.
In the first half the Lions came out well and never trailed in the opening 20 minutes. The largest led for the Lions came at the 3:56 mark with an eight-point advantage – 32-24 – after two Symone Brown free throws.
A&M-Kingsville did not waste time in the second half to take their first lead after tying the game just before the halftime horn. Viera hit a jumper just 21 second into the half to make it 40-38. The Lions then responded with an 8-0 run to take a 46-40 lead. The run was capped by a Harris layup.
The Lions would tie the score twice in the closing five minutes but could not regain the lead. The last lead for the Lions occurred at the 7:12 mark before a Banaszczak layup tied the score at 62.
A&M-Commerce returns to the court next on Sunday, Jan. 12 at 2 p.m. versus Angelo State in San Angelo. The Lions will look to avenge a one-point loss to the Rambelles and close out the season series with a win.