The Herald Banner, Greenville, TX

March 8, 2013

A&M-Commerce women step up to semifinals today


Herald-Banner Staff

GREENVILLE —   They upset the No. 2 seed on Wednesday.

  The Texas A&M University-Commerce women’s basketball Lions will try for another stunner today at the Lone Star Conference tournament as the 11-15 Lions face No. 3 seed West Texas A&M at noon today at the Allen Event Center. The game will be broadcast on KETR-FM (88.9).

  A&M-Commerce raised more than a few eyebrows with an 80-79 win in the quarterfinals over the No. 2 seed Abilene Christian. Abilene Christian entered the tournament with a 21-5 season record that included victories of 81-60 and 75-61 over the Lions.

  Abilene Christian outshot the Lions from the field (49 to 40.3 percent) and free throw line (84.8 to 71 percent), but the Lions, led by Brianna Harris, outrebounded the Wildcats 50-24. Harris, a 5-11 junior from Mansfield Summit, led the Lions with 25 points and 15 rebounds.

  “All year long we’ve dominated people on the boards,” said A&M-Commerce’s Nicole Anderson, who shared the LSC coach of the year honors with Julie Goodenough of Abilene Christian. “(Harris) is a very good offensive rebounder. She has the mentality that it’s not about getting rebounds for herself, but that her team needs those rebounds and she’s going to get them.”

  Nine of Harris’ rebounds were on the offensive end.

A&M-Commerce guard Danielle Dixon finished with 14 points and Symone Brown added 13 points and seven rebounds.

  West Texas A&M has won its last seven games, including a 61-36 victory over sixth-seeded Angelo State in Thursday’s quarterfinals of the LSC tournament. Chontiquah White led the 19-11 Buffs with 20 points and 11 rebounds. Casey Land added 13 points and Devin Griffin produced 12 points, seven rebounds and five steals.

  West Texas A&M is now 40-13 in 25 appearances in the LSC tournament, including a 14-5 record in the quarterfinals.

  A&M-Commerce has won four of its last five quarterfinal games in the tournament dating back to the 2006 season.

  West Texas A&M claimed both games in the regular season against the Lions, winning 72-51 at Canyon on Jan. 16 and 73-64 at Commerce on Feb. 27.

  Griffin topped the Buffs at Canyon with 22 points, six rebounds and five blocked shots, while Land finished with 21 points. Harris scored 21 points for the Lions and La’Tisha Hearne added 12 points.

  Griffin had another big game in Commerce with 27 points and White finished with 24 points and 14 boards. Dixon led the Lions in that game with 26 points, nine rebounds, four assists and five steals.

  The winner advances to the championship game at 6 p.m. on Saturday against today’s 6 p.m. semifinals between Midwestern State and Tarleton State. Midwestern State, the top seed, won its quarterfinal 85-70 over Eastern New Mexico and No. 4 Tarleton State downed Incarnate Word, 74-56.