Post Classifieds

Lions drop both Wednesday games

By Adam Troxtell
On January 28, 2010

The Texas A&M University-Commerce men's and women's basketball teams lost their games against the University of Central Oklahoma at the A&M-Commerce Field House Wednesday night. The women lost 73-55 after staying with the Bronchos and trailing by one at halftime, while the men were on the losing end of a 103-91 score line.

The first half of the women's game was fairly even, as both teams struggled to maintain possession. Turnovers were a major issue, but the Lions did find ways to score. Junior Mattilyn McIntyre was a big offensive influence, leading the A&M-Commerce team in scoring with 16 points. Senior Ashley Murphy had a double-double, scoring 13 points and getting 11 rebounds.

However, the second half was a completely different story. Central Oklahoma turned up the pressure and forced the Lions into uncomfortable positions. A&M-Commerce ended with 27 turnovers, and head coach Nicole Anderson was not pleased.

"It was the worst thing," she said. "Just us turning the ball over was the difference in the ball game."

Central Oklahoma took advantage of these mistakes, making their offensive opportunities count. Senior Cristina Yarbrough led the Bronchos with 16 points, going 2-5 from three-point range. Junior Ashley Beckley was also a major contributor, tallying 13 points.

"It hurts us, because when we turn over the ball then that means we've got to run back on defense," A&M-Commerce sophomore Tiffany Mitchell, who also had a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds, said. "It takes a toll on us. We have to limit our turnovers, that's one of our main things."

One of the major reasons A&M-Commerce lost so many turnovers was due to the Central Oklahoma defense. The Bronchos used a full court press for much of the second half, and the Lions struggled to cope.

"I would press us, too," Anderson said. "If we can't handle it, I'd do the same thing. One thing that's hard for us is we want to pressure the ball, but we can't pressure it as well as other teams press us. We have to put more pressure on each other so we're able to respond better in games."

The A&M-Commerce men's team also had a solid first half against Central Oklahoma, and even went into halftime with a narrow 46-45 lead. The visitors, once again, raised the tempo in the second frame, and scored 58 second half points.

Central Oklahoma were led by junior Dauntae Williams, who tallied a staggering 37 points. He went 15-25 from the floor, and the Lions struggled to contain him.
"A team makes sixteen three's in your gym, then they're having a pretty good shooting night," A&M-Commerce head coach Sam Walker said. "They almost had fifty points in three pointers. If you look down the stats sheet we out-rebounded them, we got more points in the paint, more touches inside, and we shot a lot of free throws. We didn't make our free throws and they sure did make a lot of three's."

Sophomore Shane Carroll was a major threat for UCO from beyond the arc, as he went 7-8 for 21 points. As the second half went on, A&M-Commerce struggled to contain the free-shooting Bronchos, and Walker admits it was a struggle.

"I'm not trying to be sarcastic, but apparently I don't know," he said about defending an offense like Central Oklahoma's. "We tried to do a lot of different things and what we did didn't work. They scored on us as much as in man as they did in the zone. They made three's in no matter what we were doing."

The Lions had five players score in double-digits during the game. Junior Brian Singleton led the group with 27 points, and he also went 4-8 from three-point land. Sophomore Brad Hambrick made five three pointers and scored 17 points. Senior Ronnie Morgan, freshman Preston Whitley, and senior Cardell Hunter scored 14, 13, and 11 points respectively.

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