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Men and women's basketball teams fall to Cameron University

By Justin Cheatham
On February 21, 2011

The Texas A&M University- Commerce men's basketball team lost their second game in a row Saturday, Feb. 19 to the third placed Cameron University Aggies 80-74. The loss puts the Lions in a three-way tie for second place in the Lone Star Conference North Division with Cameron and Southwest Oklahoma State University.

"We just go out rebounded," Head coach Sam Walker. "I think if we had rebounded better we would have won the game. We shot the ball well enough, we executed well enough, I think we played defense well enough, right down to the different categories of what you have to do; like turn the ball over, we got the ball to the right people, made shots, free throws but when it came down to rebounding the basketball we jus kept gave them too many extra shots. It really was the difference in the game, the glaring difference in the game."

Despite the loss, junior LaBree Sledge led the team offensively with a career high 15 points off the bench and junior Desmond King and senior Tyris Dowell led defensively with six rebounds apiece.

"I try to make the intensity of my game play benefit the team," Dowell said. "Being the only senior on the team I try to provide leadership on the court. I try to motivate the younger guys and make everyone around me better."

The Lions were our rebounded 47-29, with 22 of the Aggies rebounds being in their offensive zone.

"I thought we did a lot better at handling the ball screens and containing their dribble penetration," Walker said. "I think they were really good today at spreading us out, they dribble penetrate and I thought that in the second half we did a better job than the first half doing that. But once we forced them to a shot, we have to contain the boards and we just didn't do that; we did not get enough rebounds to win."

The Lions are coming off a crowded two weeks, with basketball games that were cancelled due to winter weather causing a period of congestion.

"We have to get ready again, we have to practice tomorrow and get ready to play," Walker said. "We have another game in 48 hours that will be our fifth game in ten days. We won the first two and lost the last two, I think it's wearing on us. I thought we had the depth to handle it but I don't know."

Cameron overcame a ten-point deficit at the beginning of the game to beat the Lions. Milton Garner led the team with 26 points, and Nathan Murray had a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds. Nine of Murray's rebounds were on the offensive end.

"We knew we had to come in and rebound hard and we still got beat on the boards," Dowell said. "So that resulted in a loss."


Women's Basketball


The Texas A&M University-Commerce women's basketball team was unable to overcome a strong first half showing from the 6-6 Cameron University Aggies on Saturday night, losing 86-64.

A&M-Commerce freshman forward Bianca Stevenson put up a team-high 19 points with nine rebounds while senior guard Mattilyn McIntyre put up 13 points. The Aggies' had three players score 20 or more points each and A&M-Commerce Head Women's Basketball Coach, Nicole Anderson, said the team was not able to stop some of Cameron's weapons.

"Cameron has some very good athletes," Anderson said. "We wanted to limit them to 30 touches and we didn't really do that as well as we needed to. We wanted to stop, number one, them from being able to penetrate and we didn't do that as well as we needed so we're prepared but we just didn't get it done. We had a lot of breakdowns on defense and they had far too many rebounds, they were able to score too often and transition against us."

Freshman guard China Pippen believes the team was prepared for the game because of their practice regiments.

"We tried our hardest tonight but fell short," Pippen said. "During our practices this week, we focused on figuring out the best abilities that each player for Cameron has and we worked on that every day in practice and we'll continue to watch film on our next opponents."

McIntyre said the team did not hit its stride until the second half.

"They we're a little bit more physical and little bit taller than us and once again we waited until the second half to try and really put it together," McIntyre said. "We need to play all the way until the end and fight hard the entire game."

Anderson says the team still has work to do before the season comes to a close.

                  "We need to learn how to continue to play consistently, offensively and defensively," Anderson said. "We need to learn how to hold people and not allow them to score; if we don't score then they shouldn't score either and if they do score we got to make sure that we get an opportunity to get a good basket."

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