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Sports

February 17, 2013

A&M-Commerce shoots past Javelinas

COMMERCE —   Free throws were the difference in Texas A&M University-Commerce’s big 77-70 basketball victory over Texas A&M University-Kingsville on Saturday.

  The Lions outscored the Javelinas by 26 points from the line, hitting 29-of-40 attempts compared to just 3-of-17 for A&M-Kingsville. The Javelinas missed their first 12 free throw attempts but kept it close by going 9-of-23 from 3-point range.

  “They made a lot of threes and missed a lot of free throws,” said Lions coach Sam Walker.

Meanwhile, the Lions hit some key free throws including two by Preston Whitley with 1:12 remaining to make it 71-68 and then two more by Stefon Carson that increased A&M-Commerce’s lead to 75-70.   Quince Jackson sealed the victory by hitting two more freebies with 4.1 left.

  A&M-Commerce needed this win because the Lions had been tied with A&M-Kingsville for sixth place in the Lone Star Conference. Only the top eight teams will advance to the LSC tournament on March 6-9 in Allen.

  “That was a huge win,” said Walker. “We could conceivably be as high as fourth in the conference. Had we lost we could have been eighth.”

  A&M-Commerce improved to 14-10 overall and 7-7 in the LSC while the Javelinas dropped to 10-11 and 6-8.

  Whitley, who was 5-of-5 from the line, led the Lions with 17 points to go with six rebounds.

Carson, who was 5-of-6 on free throws, finished with 11 points and Andrew Davis tossed in 10 to go with eight boards.

  Jamahl Brown of A&M-Kingsville hit five 3-pointers on the way to a game-high 24 points. Rashad Basey added 14 and Dwight Taylor chipped in 12.

  The two teams fought hard as there were 10 ties and 27 lead changes.

  “Both teams knew what was at stake,” said Walker.

  A&M-Kingsville’s third-leading scorer for the season, Adonis Bailey, missed the second half after suffering a bad fall at the end of the first half and had to be helped off the court. Bailey, who had been averaging 9.5, finished with only two points.

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