A&M-Commerce (2-9, 1-1 LSC) needed overtime to seal a 71-64 upset win over the visiting Mustangs of Midwestern State (9-4, 1-1). The win marks the end of a seven game losing streak for the Lions versus the Mustangs. The Lions did their damage on the defensive end, holding Midwestern State to just 1-20 (5%) from three-point range and a season low 29.3% from the field overall.
Breanna Harris certainly did her part in helping the Lions get the win with 15 points (5-6 FG) and a new career high 20 rebounds in 27 minutes. Devin Oliver and La'Tisha Hearne posted 13 points for the Lions. Hearne also added eight rebounds.
Four Lions added six points; Ashlee Johnson, Alize Pegue, Zenobia Winbush and Danielle Dixon. Abigail Leaupepe-Tele had four points and 10 rebounds. It is Leaupepe-Tele's second 10-plus rebound game this season.
The Lions started fast with 10 of the first 14 points in the opening four minutes that saw four different Lions get a bucket. A&M-Commerce would then slow the pace down and up the defensive pressure. The Lions held the lead until the 4:08 mark when Lynn Lumpkin-Boozer got the Mustangs a 22-21 lead. Harris then got the Lions a 25-24 lead with under three minutes to play in the opening stanza. Midwestern State would hold the lead through the remaining minutes and held a 28-26 advantage heading into the break.
A&M-Commerce did not make a 3-pointer in the first half. This is the third time this season the Lions have failed to hit a three pointer in a half. Lions did however out-shoot the mustangs; 38.5% – 30% in the first half. Lions held the Mustangs to 1-11 from behind the arc.
A 7-2 run gave Midwestern State 37-32 lead at the 18:12 mark of the second half. The Lions were just hanging around down 3, 39-36, after two Leaupepe-Tele free throws with 16:11 left. Winbush then came off the bench to score four of six points to make it 41-38 with 15:00 to play.
The Mustangs were holding onto a slim lead, 45-44, with 11:30 to play. Then Hearne tied the game at 47 on a free throw. A couple minutes later the Lions cut the lead to 51-50 as Pegue hit the Lions first 3 of the game. The two sides would continue to trade the lead for the rest of the way.
An Ashlee Johnson layup with 1:18 left would give the Lions a 59-57 lead. Dianna Jones would get an outlet pass and push the ball in transition to get a Mustang layup to tie the game with 24 seconds left. On the ensuing Lion possession Pegue turned the ball over and Midwestern called a timeout to draw up the game-winning play.
The Lions defense came up big again and got the stop they needed after Jones missed a jumper at the buzzer and the game was headed to overtime.
Neither team started well in the extra period with each side hitting just one free throw in the opening 90 seconds of overtime. Andrea Carter connected on a jumper to give Midwestern State a 62-61 lead with 3:19 to play.
A free throw from Hearne tied the score at 62 with 2:37 to play in the extra session. The Lions then went on an 8-0 run over the next 2:09 to take some of the drama out. A jumper from Harris capped the run.
The Lions return to the court on Wednesday, Jan. 8 to take on the visiting Javelinas of A&M-Kingsville at 5:30 p.m. A&M-Commerce will look for their third straight win over their rivals from south Texas.