Division II basketball: Texas A&M-Commerce defeats DI UTSA in exhibition game
SAN ANTONIO –– The Texas A&M University-Commerce women's basketball team defeated UT San Antonio 69-60 in an exhibition game on Friday. The Lions jumped out to an early lead and led by as many as 19 in the game, never trailing at any point in the contest.
The victory is A&M-Commerce's first win over a Division I opponent since the 2008-09 season, although it does not count towards the Lions' win-loss record. UTSA falls to 2-10 on the year.
The Lions return to action on Jan. 4 with a Lone Star Conference matchup against Texas A&M-Kingsville. It is the first of three consecutive home games to open up the new year. The game will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the Field House, followed by the Lion men against the Javelinas at 7:30 p.m.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
- Brianna Wise led all scorers with 20 points in the game. She also had six rebounds.
- Artaejah Gay had 14 points on 6-of-9 shooting in 19 minutes of action.
- Princess Davis had 10 points and three assists.
- Jenna Price had nine points and a team-high 12 rebounds. Melanie Ransom added seven points.
- The Lions scored 20 points off of 16 UTSA turnovers.
- A&M-Commerce led by as many as 19 points in the game and never trailed.
- The Lions got to the free throw line 34 times in the game but shot just 50 percent from the line.
- The Lions shot 38 percent from the field. They held UTSA to 35 percent shooting, including just 27 percent shooting in the first half.
- This is the Lions' first win over a Division I opponent since 2008, when the Lions, led by Brittany Jordan, defeated Southern Illinois-Edwardsville 66-65 on Dec. 30, 2008. SIUE was in its first year as a DI program.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Lions got off to an early 4-0 lead with buckets from Ransom and Price. The Roadrunners got back into the contest, tying the game at 7 midway through the quarter. The Lions ended the quarter on an 11-4 run. Price had a jumper and two free throws, giving her six points in the first quarter. The Lions scored seven of the final eight points of the quarter and led 18-11.
UTSA fought back early in the second quarter, cutting the Lion lead to three points. Wise hit a three and Gay had two buckets to keep the Lions in the lead with a 25-22 advantage halfway through the second quarter.
The Lions then went on a run. Gay had another jumper and also had a steal which led to a Davis bucket to give the Lions back their seven-point lead. It was a part of an 8-0 run that gave the Lions a double-digit lead for the first time in the game. Buckets by Wise, Ransom and Lauren Parker took the Lion lead to 13 late in the quarter and the Lions took a 37-25 lead into halftime.
Wise led the team with 10 points in the first half. Gay and Price had six points each while Davis had four points and two assists. The Lions shot 39 percent from the field in the first half while holding UTSA to just 27 percent in the first half. The Lions got to the free throw line 14 times in the first quarter.
Gay had a three-point play in the early parts of the third quarter as the Lions maintained their lead. Davis then had a jumper with seven minutes to go in the quarter to give the Lions a 16-point lead. The Lions continued to get to the free throw line and pushed their lead to 18 points, and then after a bucket from UTSA, a three from Gay gave A&M-Commerce a 19-point lead, their largest of the game. UTSA ended the quarter on a rally, scoring 12 of the final 14 points of the quarter. The Lions took a 54-45 lead into the final period.
The Roadrunners continued their run to start the fourth quarter, cutting the Lion lead to just four points. The rally ended on a three pointer from Wise. Wise went on a personal 8-0 run, making two threes as A&M-Commerce brought its lead back up to 12 with six minutes to play. The Lions brought their lead back up to as many as 15 in the final quarter.
The Roadrunners attempted one final comeback effort but the Lions would not relent and they left with the nine-point upset exhibition win.