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Coach guarantees win, but Lions drop 17th in a row

By Cliff Gibson
On February 6, 2012


It takes more than a guarantee to actually win a game, just ask Nicole Anderson. The Texas A&M University-Commerce women's basketball coach made a bold prediction prior to Monday's game against A&M-Kingsville, but couldn't back it up on the court as her team lost for the 17th consecutive time, 79-66.


Despite a game-high 16 points and eight rebounds from sophomore forward Breanna Harris, the Lions (1-20, 0-15 LSC) let a lead in the first half slip away, and never regained form. Five players scored in double figures to help the Javelinas sweep the home-and-home series and up their record to 6-15 overall and 5-10 in the LSC.


A&M-Commerce took advantage of poor shooting by the Javelinas, which allowed the home team to keep the lead for most of the first half. However, a six-point lead midway through the first half quickly evaporated and turned into a seven-point deficit with just a few minutes left in the opening stanza.


A&M-Kingsville led by as many as eight in the first half before settling for a 38-31 lead as the teams left for halftime. 


The Lions were able to close the gap to five points early in the second half, but the Javelinas regrouped and went ahead by a 59-48 score with 11:40 to play. A&M-Kingsville eventually stretched their lead as far as 18 points with less than seven minutes remaining in regulation, before leaving Commerce with a 13-point victory.


China Pippin made four 3-pointers and finished with 14 points, La'Tisha Hearne aded 12 points and Michelle Sutton added 11 points for A&M-Commerce, which is still without a victory since late-November.


Amanda Haven and Jackie Stanley each scored 13 points to lead the Javelinas, while Inekka Stevenson had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Stanley also had 10 rebounds. 


A&M-Kingsville tallied 16 steals in the game and turned 24 Lion turnovers into 30 points. The A&M-Commerce Lions will return to the court Saturday when they host Texas Woman's University at 6 p.m. in The Field House.



A&M-Kingsville 76, A&M-Commerce 65 (men)


An early run by the A&M-Kingsville squad gave the Javelinas all the room they needed to sweep a home-and-home series from A&M-Commerce on Monday. With just three lead changes all night, A&M-Kingsville took the last one early and held on for a 76-65 win at The Field House.


Unfortunately, the action on the court was not the focal point of the evening. Instead, a devastating injury late in the game left many in attendance holding their collective breathe. 


With a little more than four minutes to play, senior guard LaBree Sledge received a hard foul on a fast break, sending him to the floor hard on his right foot. Sledge immediately grabbed for his right leg and ankle, and received attention from coaches and members of the training staff.


After an air cast was placed on his leg, Sledge was taken away on a stretcher and received a standing ovation from those who remained in the bleachers. Sledge did not return and is expected to miss the rest of the season.


Ashton Brown led all scorers with 25 points and set a school record by making 13-of-13 free throw attempts. Brown leads the nation (Division II) in free throw percentage. Ryan Layssard and Robert Williams each chipped in 16 points for the Javelinas (10-13, 5-9 LSC). Williams had 13 rebounds, a game-high.


Desmond King led the Lions (7-15, 2-12 LSC) with 17 points and 11 rebounds, Devondrick Walker added 11 points and Brad Hambrick also tossed in 11 points. The Lions shot 44.2 percent from the field, which was better than the Javelinas (39.7 percent), but allowed A&M-Kingsville to convert 11 more free throws. 


The Lions will have more than a week off before hosting West Texas A&M at The Field House on Wednesday, Feb. 16 at 8 p.m.


For updates on A&M-Commerce basketball, be sure to follow The East Texan sports desk on Twitter @EastTexanSports.

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