Texas A&M-Commerce led for 9.5 seconds of the second half. Fortunately for the Lions, it was the final eight seconds as they rallied from as many as 13 down in the second half to eventually escape Thursday’s quarterfinal game with Eastern New Mexico, 74-73.
Kameron Price hit two free throws to give the Lions the lead and then LSC Defensive Player of the Year Christian Macauley altered a running jump shot by ENMU’s Rodney Blackmon that rimmed off to give A&M-C the dramatic win.
It was the first LSC Championship win for the Lions since 2008, when they upset two teams to make the tournament final. Since then, A&M-C dropped six straight games before Thursday’s rally.
The fourth-seeded Lions avoided being the first higher-seed to win since the tournament started on Wednesday. A&M-Commerce advanced to Fridays’ semifinal round to face No. 1 seeded Tarleton State, a team the Lions knocked off in the regular season finale on March 1. And they also improved their chances of making next week’s South Central Regional tournament. The Lions entered this week’s conference tourney as the No. 7 seed.
The season ends for the Greyhounds, the No. 5 seed, who fall to 14-13 and just missed snapping a LSC Championship losing streak that extends to 2003. Although it was the first winning season for the Greyhounds since 2004.
Even more impressive than just rallying from 12 down to win, but the Lions did so without first-team All-LSC standout LaDon Carnegie, who scored nine points but fouled out with 8:38 to play.
Tyrie Wooten picked up the slack to score 16 points, while Daniel Ehambe had 11, making all three 3-point attempts. Cameron Blue scored six but led the team with 10 rebounds.
For the Greyhounds, five players scored in double-figures. Blackmon and Rafeal Love had 14 points each, while Devone Davis and Cornelius Cammock had 13 each while Lawrence Domingo had 12 points and eight boards.
But the Greyhounds couldn’t come close to their 55.2 percent shooting in the first half, making just 8 of 27 shooting in the second half, including 2 of 9 from 3-point land.
Texas A&M-Commerce Notes
- A&M-Commerce is now 19-8 and one win away from its first 20-win season since 2004-05.
- The win was the second straight for the Lions over Eastern New Mexico. Commerce now leads the series 40-19.
- The win was the 225th for head coach Sam Walker in his tenure with the Lions.
- Daniel Ehambe hit four threes in the game surpassing his prior career-best of two in a game which he made on five occasions
- Two free throws by Kameron Price with 9.5 seconds remaining gave A&M-Commerce its first lead of the half and proved to be the difference
- A&M-Commerce scored the game’s final six points to come from 73-68 down in the final 1:40.
- Tyrie Wooten led the Lions with 16 points it was his 16th double-digit performance
- Commerce is now 7-6 on the season when trailing at the half.