Lion women punch ticket to postseason
The Texas A&M University-Commerce women's basketball team earned a trip to March Madness with an upset victory over Texas Woman's University on Feb. 26.
A&M-Commerce never trailed and held Texas Woman's without a three point field goal en route to the 69-62 road win in Denton. The win clinches a spot in the Lone Star Conference Tournament for the second consecutive season.
A&M-Commerce (6-19, 5-10 Lone Star Conference) held a plus-5 advantage on the offensive glass and a plus-10 advantage in points off turnovers over Texas Woman's (15-11, 10-6 LSC).
Devin Oliver led the Lions with 15 points incuding a perfect 4-of-4 from the free throw line. Breanna Harris had 13 points and seven rebounds along with two steals. La'Tisha Hearne recorded 10 and six before fouling out. Ashlee Johnson had six points, three assists and two steals for the Lions.
With 1:46 left Texas Woman's cut the Lions' lead to 4, 64-60, after two free throws from Kenesha Saygo. After an empty possession by the Lions the Pioneers got to within two after two free throws from Saygo.
On the ensuing possession the Lions got an offensive rebound after a shot clock violation was overturned to give the Lions the ball back then Aubree Butts stepped to the line and hit both free throws. The Lions would keep the Pioneers off the board through the remaining half minute and hit three more free throws to ice the game away for the win.
The Lions took the lead after an Oliver three inside the first minute and scored six of the next eight points to take a 13-6 lead. A&M-Commerce pushed the lead to eight at 18-10 after a Pegue old-fashioned-three-point play. The Lions held the lead at six before Texas Woman's started to make a run.
The Pioneers tied the game at 26 with two minutes to play after a Toree Mason jumper. A&M-Commerce took the lead back on the next possession with two Johnson free throws. A Butts jumper with under 10 seconds to play gave the Lions a three point lead, 33-30, heading into the break.
After the intermission the Lions extended the lead to 41-35 after scoring eight of the first 10 points of the half. The Lions maintained the lead at two possessions until TWU cut the lead to free from the Pioneers. Every time the Pioneers cut the lead to one the Lions answered on the next possession to keep the lead.
The Lions built a five-point lead after two Oliver free throws with 7:05 to play and eventually pushed the lead to eight at 60-52. Texas Woman's started to chip away at the lead and eventually get within two at 64-62. A&M-Commerce would hold on due to the stingy defense down the stretch to get the win.
The Lions close out the 2013-14 regular season when they host the TexAnns of Tarleton State on Saturday at The Field House. Tip-off is set for 5:30 p.m. as part of a doubleheader with the men's game following.