Lions Women open up home schedule facing Dustdevils
Texas A&M University-Commerce returns to the court at the Field House for the first time in 2013-14, hosting Texas A&M International Thursday at 5:30 p.m. The Lions are seeking their first victory of the season, sitting at 0-3 on the year.
Scouting the Dustdevils
Head Coach: Michelle Bento-Jackson • First Season • Career Record: 108-101, 10-16 at A&M-I
Key Players (Stats from 2012-13 Season):
• #23 Tina Deng: 13.8 ppg / 3.4 rpg / 76 FT% / 35 FG%
• #24 Samantha Carson: 12.7 ppg / 4.3 rpg / 4.0 spg / 43 FG%
• #35 Malika Jackson: 10.6 ppg / 7.2 rpg / 52 FG% / 68 FT%
The Dustdevils notched a convincing road victory Tuesday night, upsetting 10th-ranked Midwestern State 84-75 in Wichita Falls. The Dustdevils return their top three scorers from a season ago and will look to improve on their 10 wins. A&M-International lost its final game of 2012-13 to St. Mary's by two points, 69-67.
A&M-International and A&M-Commerce will meet for just the third time ever on Thursday. The two teams have split the previous two meetings, with A&M-International prevailing in the most recent matchup in the 2011-12 season, 78-67.
Last time out
A&M-Commerce held an 11-point halftime lead Tuesday night in Southeastern Oklahoma, but the Savage Storm rallied to force a back-and-forth affair as the Lions eventually fell 85-83. Danielle Dixon had a chance to win the game at the buzzer, but her three pointer was no good. Breanna Harris recorded her 28th career double-double with 19 points and 19 rebounds while Shanekqua Bibbs and Devin Oliver each had 13 points and six rebounds.
Harris does not miss a beat
After averaging a double-double last season, Breanna Harris recorded another double-double versus St. Edward's with her 20 points and 12 rebounds. Harris now has 27 for her Lion career.
Nice to have you back
In her first game in two years, Abigail Leaupepe-Tele had her first career double-double with a career high 20 points and 11 rebounds. 12 points and eight rebounds were Leaupepe-Tele's career highs prior to the game versus St. Edward's.
Not so supporting cast
Harris and Leaupepe-Tele each had 20 points versus St. Edward's and shot 16-24, but the rest of the Lions combined for 5-35 from the field, making just 12.5 percent of their shots.
Free Throw struggles
The Lions struggled from the free throw line last season and those struggles have carried over through first two games of this season. The Lions are shooting 51.7% from the charity stripe and have made only 15 free throws a game.
Head Coach Nicole Anderson
Anderson enters her fifth season at the helm of the A&M-Commerce Lions women's basketball program. Expectations have been raised for Anderson and the Lions after last season's nine win improvement from 2011-12. The turnaround also earned Anderson Co-Coach of the Year for the Lone Star Conference a season ago.