Lions look to even conference record at Cameron
A&M-Commerce (12-3, 1-2 LSC) at Cameron (8-5, 2-0 LSC)
Wednesday, Jan. 15 • 8 p.m.
Aggie Gym (1,800) • Lawton, Okla.
Radio: KETR 88.9 FM • Twitter: @Lion_MBB
• After nearly pulling off its biggest comeback of the season, the Lions will continue its three-game road swing on Saturday when it travels to red-hot Cameron. The Aggies have won their last four games after hanging onto a one-point home win against West Texas A&M on Saturday at Aggie Gym.
THE LAST TIME OUT
• A&M-Commerce erased a 20-point deficit in the second half, only to see Bryan Hammond go the length of the court for the game-winning layup with just 4.1 seconds left to edge the Lions 67-65 on Sunday afternoon at the Junell Center. The Ram lead reached its peak with 16:07 to play, but Devondrick Walker three-point bucket from the top of the arc with just 10 seconds remaining in the game tied things at 65-65. But the Rams immediately inbounded the ball to Hammond, who drove the length of the court and finished with a layup high off the right side of the glass to put ASU back on top 67-65 with 4.1 seconds to go. A&M-Commerce called a timeout and got the ball to freshman De'Andre Carson, who went the length of the court on his own, but his shot at the buzzer just missed off the rim as time expired.
• The Lions will get a week off before traveling to Portales, N.M., for a meeting with Eastern New Mexico. Three days later they return home to take on West Texas A&M.
• The Lions got off to an 8-0 start to the season, the second best start to a season for A&M-Commerce in program history. Currently the squad stands at 12-3 on the year, which is tied the best start through 15 games for the team under head coach Sam Walker, joining the 2004-05 squad that also opened the year 12-3.
• With 19 pts for Devondrick Walker and 15 for Tyrie Wooten's at Angelo State, the duo has each scored in double figures in the Lion's last 6 games. They have accounted for 171 of A&M-Commerce's 474 points in that stretch, or 36.1 percent of the Lions' points. In the three games missed by leading scorer LaDon Carnegie, the Walker/Wooten pair has upped its production, averaging 29.6 of the Lions' 76.0 points per game.
• Since the calendar turned to 2014, the Lions are still searching to find their stroke from the field. In the first 12 games of the season, A&M-Commerce shot under 40 percent from the field just twice; however, they have come in under the 40-percent mark in each of their past three contests.
Series vs. CAMERON: Cameron leads, 23-20
Last 5 Meetings
2012-13 CAMERON L 69-63
2012-13 at Cameron L 65-51
2011-12 CAMERON W 76-69
2010-11 CAMERON L 80-74
2010-11 at Cameron L 80-51
Craig Foster had 23 points for the Aggies, and the Lions shot just 3-for-18 from beyond the three-point arc to squander a narrow one-point halftime lead, falling 69-63 at The Field House. Three Lions had a team-high 11 points, and Andrew Davis finished with a double-double, putting in 11 points to go with 14 rebounds. The Aggies hit eight threes on the night and canned 25 of its 35 free throws, overcoming a first half in which they shot just 24.2 percent from the floor.
The Aggies have won five of the last six meetings in the series and each of the last two at Aggie Gym. In all, the Lions still lead the overall series, 23-20.
WOOTEN's FREE THROW STREAK: Tyrie Wooten went 10-for-10 from the foul line in the Lion's win over A&M-Kingsville, and followed that up with five more makes against Angelo State. The perfect 10-for-10 mark is tied for the third-best single-game free throw effort in the Lone Star this season, but it's not even tops on his own team. LaDon Carnegie had an 11-for-11 effort in the second game of the season vs Oklahoma Panhandle State. Currently, he has made 18 straight from the foul line dating back to January 4 against Midwestern State.
CARSON'S RULE: Freshman point guard De'Andre Carson has been solid off the pine for the Lions this season, so much so that he currently leads the NCAA in assist-turnover ratio. He has gotten into 13 games this year and has dished out 39 assists for a 5.6 assist-turnover ratio. That mark is not only the top mark in the LSC, but in the nation. He is the only Lone Star Conference player to lead the nation in a recognized statistical cateogry.
WALL OF MACAULEY: In addition to his 8.9 points and 7.8 rebounds per game, A&M-Commerce big man Christian Macauley has been stellar as the Lions' last line of defense. The junior from Washington D.C. leads the Lone Star Conference with 2.8 blocks per game after adding two more to his season total at Angelo State. He has at least one block in every game this season for the Lions, with multiple blocks in 12 of A&M-Commerce's 15 games to date. Lee Johnson holds the single-season school record with 84 blocks (2.8 bpg), set in 1978-79.
WALKER ADDS TO WIN TOTAL: Head coach Sam Walker became the all-time winningest coach in A&M-Commerce history last season with his 202nd victory, pushing him past former Lion head coach Jim Grudger, and in two less seasons. He now continues to distance himself from the other 19 coaches in Lion history with 218 victories to his credit. His win total is second among current coaches in the Lone Star Conference, trailing only Tarleton State's Lonn Reisman's 543 victories.
CALLING LONG DISTANCE: The Lions have not been afraid to step out and let it fly from beyond the arc this season with its 292 three-point tries being 20 more than any other team in the LSC. Still, they have managed to be efficient with them too, hitting at a cool 36.3 percent from three-point range, a mark that ranks fourth in the league. A&M-Commerce has made at least 10 threes in six games this year with a season-high 12 in a six-point win over Southern Arkansas on November 13. In all, four Lions with at least 30 three-point tries are hitting better than 36 percent of those shots, led by LaDon Carnegie's league-leading 48.4 percent.
DOWN, BUT NOT OUT: Halftime deficits have not been much of an issue for A&M-Commerce this season. The Lions have found themselves down at the break of eight of its 15 games, coming back to win in five of those games. It's largest deficit over come of the season was a 15-point margin in its 71-68 win over Henderson State.
ACCEPTING CHARITY: The Lions are doing their fare share of getting to the foul line. In fact, A&M-Commerce has shot more free throws than its opponent in all but one game, and that game saw both the Lions and Southern Arkansas shoot 34 apiece. In all, the Lions 409 free throw attempts are second most in the LSC to only Tarleton State's 411, givng the Lions an average of more than 27 foul shots per game. They rank second in the league with a 73.8 free-throw percentage as a team.
BETTER AS THEY GO: A&M-Commerce has managed to overcome five of six halftime deficits this season for victories, and when you look at the numbers, it is no surprise. Despite lower efficiency from the field and the foul line, the Lions have made 32 more field goals and 116 more foul shots in the second half of games than in the opening period this season.
First Half Second Half
PTS 36.1 47.6
FGs 194/452 226/525
FG% 42.9 43.0
3pt% 37.9 32.9
FTs 93/125 209/284
FT% 74.4 73.6