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Lion women put up early fight, lose to Lady Buffs

By Cliff Gibson
On February 15, 2012

In their Jan. 4 meeting with West Texas A&M, the Texas A&M University-Commerce women went into the half facing an insurmountable 42-point deficit, before losing by a school-record 73 points. This time, with the home crowd behind them, the Lions (1-22 overall, 0-17 LSC) managed to keep it close for a half before falling to the Lady Buffs, 78-61, on Wednesday at The Field House.

Sophomore guard Danielle Dixon led the Lions with 19 points – including three shots from long range – and sophomore Breanna Harris put in 18 points on 8-of-9 shooting.

Freshman guard Devin Oliver tossed in eight points and dished out five assists, while Apreia Booker and Kaneisha Flournoy each added four points.

Kenisha Harris paced the Lady Buffs with a double-double effort, registering 15 points and 10 rebounds (5 offensive) to go with four assists. Joni Unruh finished with 11 points and Chontiquah White added 10 off the West Texas bench.

The Lady Buffs (15-8 overall, 13-4 LSC) looked sluggish in the first half – likely a result of the long trip to Commerce – and struggled to put points on the board during the first 10 minutes. 

A&M-Commerce surrendered the first points of the game but bounced back to take an early lead, which it would maintain for more than 13 minutes. However – in the final minutes – the Lady Buffs ripped off a 10-0 run that gave them the lead for good.

The Lions led by as many as seven points in the first five minutes of action, but West Texas clawed back to take a 20-18 lead with just over six minutes left in the half. Lacee Logan then hit a wide-open triple, and converted a steal into an easy deuce to cap a 10-0 scoring run and push the Lady Buffs' lead to 25-18.

The Lions promptly ended the run and managed to pull within four points at halftime, 33-29, taking advantage of 57 percent shooting (12-of-21) during the first 20 minutes. The Lady Buffs shot just 39 percent (10-of-26) from the floor in the half, but forced the Lions into 14 turnovers.

Unfortunately, whatever momentum the Lions may have had in the first half stayed behind during the second, as the Lady Buffs stretched the lead to double digits with 15 minutes to play, and led by 22 points midway through the final half.

West Texas made it 72-47 with three minutes to play, the Lady Buffs' largest lead of the night, followed by the Lions' furious comeback attempt in the final minutes that fell way short.

The Lady Buffs' win puts another chapter in their dominant story over the Lions, improving to 43-5 all-time in the series between the two schools, which also includes the current 6-game winning streak.

The Lions have now lost 19 straight games overall and a whopping 43 consecutive games in conference play. This loss guarantees the Lion women a last-place finish in the Lone Star Conference.

The A&M-Commerce women will continue the final stretch Saturday when they head out of state to face Eastern New Mexico on Saturday at 1 p.m., followed by a road game at Abilene Christian on Feb. 22.

The Lions will close out the 2011-12 season Saturday, Feb. 25 at home against Angelo State. 

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