LaDon Carnegie put in 23 points and the A&M-Commerce Lions snapped a three-game losing streak with a 93-84 win over West Texas A&M on Saturday at The Field House.
The win also snapped a six-game losing streak for the Lions (13-5, 2-4 LSC) in the series with the Buffaloes (8-9, 1-5 LSC). Carnegie finished with 23 points on 7-for-10 shooting from the field, hitting all four three-point tries and five of six free throw attempts. He also added seven rebounds and five assists.
A&M-Commerce put together its second straight strong offensive performance, hitting 55.8 percent from the floor, its second-highest field goal percentage of the season. They also managed to hit 11 of 18 from the three-point line, its most efficient game of the year from long distance.
The Lions led by as much as 11 in the second half, but still had to fight off a stingy WT squad who was as close as two points with less than four minutes to play. The Buffs were led by guard Drimir Ferguson, who just missed tying his career high with 31 points on the night, including a career-best six three-point buckets.
Meanwhile, Tyrie Wooten was one of three other Lions to join Carnegie in double figures, scoring 17 on the night, including a dozen in the second half. Devondrick Walker added 15 points, all in the opening period, and big man Christian Macauley set a new high watermark with 15 points of his own to go with six rebounds and three blocked shots.
Both teams were on fire from the field in the opening half, with each team hitting better than 50 percent from the floor. The Lions canned six triples in the opening half, but the Buffs answered with seven threes of their own, getting 18 points from Ferguson in the opening period.
The Lions led by as much as seven in the opening period, sparked by Walker's 15 points and eight from Carnegie.
But A&M-Commerce was even better in the second half, hitting 60 percent from the floor with Carnegie putting in 15 of his 23 and Macauley hitting for 14 of his 15 in the second period alone. The Lion lead got as high as 11 early in the half when a pair of threes from Wooten ignited a 11-2 run in less than 2:30 of game time, pushing the lead to 56-45.
The Buffs, however, respoanded, and chipped away at the Lion lead and eventually trimmed it to a single point at 73-72 with 5:41 to go after Ferguson's first points of the second half came on three-point baskets in consecutive possessions.
But Carnegie answered the second three with one of his own and the Lions hit 11 of 14 foul shots in the final four minutes of the game to keep the Buffs at bay.
A&M-Commerce will now get a week off before its next league contest on Saturday in Stephenville when it will face nationally-ranked Tarleton State.