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Sports

January 27, 2013

Tarleton State pulls away from A&M-Commerce Lions

COMMERCE —   A 19-2 run helped Tarleton State pull away from the Texas A&M University-Commerce Lions for a 70-61 Lone Star Conference basketball victory on Saturday.

  The Lions were leading 43-39 with 14:49 remaining after Preston Whitley banked in a layup.

But the Lions didn’t score a field goal for the next 9:05 as the Texans went up 58-45. The only A&M-Commerce points in that stretch were on a pair of free throws by Stefon Carson with 9:41 left.

  Tyrie Wooten finally woke up the Lions’ sleeping offense, hitting a 3-pointer with 5:44 remaining and then Carson scored on a fast break set up by Devondrick’s block. Those two buckets brought the Lions to within 58-50 with 4:44 remaining.

  But the Lions couldn’t get any closer than seven points the rest of the way as Chuck Guy went 6-of-6 from the line for the Texans in the final 24 seconds.

  Coleman Furst, a junior from Denison, hit some big 3-pointers to lead the Texans with 18 points. Guy finished with 16 points after going 9-of-10 from the line and De’Andre Upchurch tossed in 14 points as  Tarleton State improved to 10-6 overall and 4-5 in the conference.

  Whitley led the Lions with 15 points. Wooten, Carson and Andrew Davis all added 11 points. Wooten led the Lions in assists with 10 and Carson finished with six assists. Donavon Gage led the Lion rebounders with seven.

  “I thought the difference in the game was rebounding,” said Lions coach Sam Walker.

Tarleton State outrebounded the Lions 46-35.

  Neither team shot well, both making just 38.5 percent of their attempts from the field.

The Texans had a big edge from the line, making 21-of-30 as the Lions went only five times to the line, sinking three.

  Walker said the Lions statistically did most of things he asked them to do though they didn’t hit their offensive goal.

  “We’ve got to get in the 75 to 80-point range to win,” said the Lions coach.

  As in last week’s 84-77 victory over Eastern New Mexico, the Lions got off to a strong start, building leads of 9-2, 16-10 and 27-17, thanks to some big shots from Davis, Whitley and 7-footer Adboulaye N’doye. Tarleton State never led until the second half.

  A&M-Commerce fell to 11-8 overall and 4-5 in the conference.

  The two teams will get six days to rest before battling again on Saturday in Stephenville.

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