Lions defeat no. 15 Angelo State, 71-68
Christian Macauley delivered his most important points as a Lion with a one-handed thunderous SportsCenter Top-10esque dunk with 1.9 seconds left remaining drawing the foul and completing the three-point play with a free throw to propel A&M-Commerce to an 71-68 upset win over No. 15 Angelo State in the Field House Wednesday night in Lone Star Conference competition.
On Senior Night, Macauley, a senior from Washington, D.C. was perfect on the night. He finished 5-for-5 from the floor and 3-for-3 from the free throw line to for 13 points. Macauley, who became the Lions all-time blocks leader in the previous game against West Texas, swatted away two Ram field goal attempts.
The Lions found themselves trailing by six, 61-55, with five minutes to play, but Macauley and teammate Darrell Williams, who finished with a game-high 20 points and 17 rebounds for his 18th double-double of the season, rallied A&M-Commerce to the tune of a 9-2 run to take a 64-62 lead with 2:46 left to play. Williams had five points and Macauley had four points during the stretch.
More importantly, the Lions, for the second straight game, used a suffocating defense late in the second half. A&M-Commerce limited Angelo State to just one field goal over the final five minutes – that one field goal knotted the game up at 68 with 19 seconds to play.
The Lions extended their 64-62 lead at 2:46 out to five points, 68-63, with 1:05 left to play. However, a pair of free throws from ASU’s Chris Jones, trimmed the gap down to three points, 68-65, eight seconds later. After a Lions turnover, ASU got its one field goal during the closing five minutes. Macauley blocked Jones’ layup attempt, but the lose ball came out to Raijon Kelly on the right wing. Kelly stepped into a triple and stroked it tying the game at 68.
Following a Lion timeout, A&M-Commerce brought the ball into the frontcourt. With around nine seconds, to shoot LaDon Carnegie took a screen from Williams at the right wing and drove to the basket. The Ram defender left Macauley to help on the Carnegie drive. Carnegie, who scored 19 points and had six assists, laid the pass off to Macauley wipe open on the weak side. Macauley never hesitated and took the straight to the rim for the one-handed stuff and finished the dunk through contact after the defender was late in his recovery erupting the Lion crowd inside the Field House.
Macauley made the free throw giving the Lions the 71-68 lead with 1.9 seconds to play. Angelo State’s game-winning midcourt shot by Kelly came up short and for the second straight season the Lions earn a win over a top-25 team in the home finale. The Lions upset then No. 2 Tarleton State 79-76 to close out the 2013-14 season.
Angelo State ended the game 50 percent from the field, 39 percent from long range and 60 percent from the free throw line, 9-of-15, while A&M-Commerce ended at 44 percent overall, 28 percent from three and 75 percent from the charity stripe, 18-of-24.
The Lions also controlled the boards outrebounding the Rams 38-28 and taking advantage of 15 offensive to score 17 second chance points. The Lions also won the battle in the paint, 30-22.
Anthony Adams was the third Lion in double figures ending with 10 points. He also tallied one assists, but it was what did not show up on the stat sheet for Adam’s that was crucial to the Lions success. Adams in 33 minutes of play did not have turnover for the second consecutive game and second straight Lion come-from-behind win.
Five Rams placed in double digits led by Jones with 19 points on a 7-of-14 shooting performance. Marsell Holden followed with 16 points, while Kelly and Omari Gudul chipped in 13 points and 11 points respectively.
With the win, the Lions improve to 21-6 on the season and 9-4 in the LSC. A&M-Commerce has pulled even with Midwestern at 9-4 in league play and third in the conference standings with one game left in the regular season. The Mustangs (20-7, 9-4) host Cameron (12-13, 4-9) in Wichita Falls for their final game, while the Lions head to Stephenville for a season finale date with No. 7 Tarleton State (25-2, 11-2).
A Lion win and a Mustang loss would me A&M-Commerce would vault the Mustangs for third place in the final LSC standings, but win by both teams or loss by both teams and MSU would take the third place spot after sweeping the season series against A&M-Commerce.
Saturday’s season finale, which is slated for tipoff at 7 p.m., will mark the third time this season the Lions have played a ranked opponent in back-to-back games. Against teams ranked in the NABC Top 25 this season, A&M-Commerce is 3-2 after Wednesday’s win.