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Lions Fail To Close Out Western New Mexico At Home

Drew Ivery

The Texas A&M University-Commerce men’s basketball team had one of their worst shooting performances in a half in the Coach Jaret Von Rosenberg era and it cost them as they fell to Western New Mexico 74-73 in the Commerce Field House.

It was a neck and neck game that came down to the wire but ultimately it was final two possessions of the game that decided the Lions fate on Thursday night. In overtime with under a minute to play and its Lion ball, Reid takes a deep three at the wing but is missed and rebounded by Conrod who then finds Willie Rooks in the corner to knock down the three pointer with about 26 seconds left. The play resembled the 2013 Miami Heat Game 6 on the Heat’s final possession when Ray Allen nailed the corner three for the lead, but this game didn’t quite end the same as that one. Coming out of the timeout for the final possession, Commerce makes it difficult the entire possession, but the Mustangs are able to get off a deep three point shot and miss but a foul is called on Willie Rooks to send Davis Wade to the line where he knocks down two out of three to go up one. Lions manage to get off a shot on the other side, but they miss and it’s rebounded by Conrod and he goes up for a shot and is fouled, but it is replayed reviewed and time expired before the foul occurred and Lions lose.

The Lions began the game in command early with a 14-5 lead in the early minutes, but were cold to say the least when coming out of halftime. Commerce shot 27 percent from the field and 6 percent from three point range in the second half and overtime. First game of eight without Tyree Robinson due to suspension and boy did they miss him and what he brings to this team Thursday night.

A&M-Commerce was led in scoring by their backcourt duo of Willie Rooks and Reggie Reid who both had a game-high 19 points. In his last game, Reid posted the first recorded triple-double in Lion men’s basketball history in a game where he had 13 assists, the most in the LSC in a single game this season. With Robinson out for a while, Rodney Brown got some extra time on court and he made the most of it by posting his first double-double of the season with 11 points and a season-high eleven rebounds, along with a pair of blocks.

"This is a tough pill to swallow,” said coach Rose giving his thoughts on the game. “We just didn't play well. That is the worst offensive outing we have had. I don't think it had anything to do with the shots we took, we just didn't make shots. And we weren't good enough defensively. We forced 22 turnovers, which helped a bunch and kept us in the game. But we weren't good enough defensively to withstand the woes we had shooting the basketball. They just played a little bit better than we did tonight. We give Western New Mexico a lot of credit for this one."

The Mustangs snag their very first win against the Lions in program history, previously 0-4. In the four games prior Commerce had a margin of victory of 25 points in the Field House. The victory was also the first conference win for the Mustangs this season.

WNMU had four players in double figures beginning with leading scorer Jon-Reese Woodson tallying 17 points, a pair of teammates in CJ Vanbeekum and Amarion Cash with twelve points each and Willie McCray added eleven. Woodson posted a double-double in the win with 11 rebounds to go along with his 17 points.

Next Matchup: Lions will be staying at home for their next game as the will face UT Permian Basin at approximately 4 p.m. as they look to bounce back and get a win. This game can be heard on 88.9FM or www.ketr.org, the Lion Sports Network.