The Commerce Journal
MAGNOLIA, Ark. —
Texas A&M University-Commerce showed no effect of a nine-day layoff, scoring 17 of the first 19 points on the evening as the Lions routed Southern Arkansas 96-78 at the W.T. Watson Center. It continued the Lions’ dominance of the Muleriders as A&M-Commerce won its 12th-straight against Southern Arkansas and improved to 16-2 all-time against the Muleriders under head coach Sam Walker.
Five players finished in double figures for A&M-Commerce as the Lions shot an impressive 60.4 percent from the floor, including 58.8 percent from beyond the three-point arc (10-of-17). LaDon Carnegie led the way with 18 points, hitting six of his nine shots from the floor, while adding five rebounds, a pair of assists and a pair of steals.
Daniel Ehambe set a career-high with 15 points on the night, shattering his previous best of six points, as the senior went six-of-eight from the floor, including two-of-three from three-point range. Christian Macauley notched his second career double-double, finishing with 11 points and 10 rebounds for the Lions while Kameron Price and Eddie Leal each notched 10 points in the victory.
De’Andre Carson dished out a team-high four assists to complement his four points while Price added three helpers on the night with a team-best three steals. Devondrick Walker added eight points, three rebounds and a pair of steals off the bench to help spark the Lions.
Any concerns about a possible post-Thanksgiving letdown were quickly thwarted as A&M-Commerce seized control of the game early and never let up. Through the first five minutes of the opening half, six different Lions recorded points as A&M-Commerce raced out to a 17-2 lead and the lead never dipped below double digits for the remainder of the evening.
The Lions continued to distance themselves from the Muleriders throughout the half, building a 23-point advantage at 37-14 with five minutes remaining in the opening stanza. A&M-Commerce would push that lead to 24 at 40-16 with 4:41 to go before Southern Arkansas put together a mini-run of its own, outscoring the Lions 12-2 to pull to within 14 at 42-28.
A&M-Commerce pushed the lead back to 18 at 47-29 in the waning seconds before a three-pointer at the buzzer by the Muleriders shortened the deficit to 15 at 47-32.
With a substantial lead, A&M-Commerce kept to its gameplan and kept Southern Arkansas at bay for the duration of the second half. The Lions pushed their advantage to 23 at 69-46 and stayed well in front of the Muleriders for the final 10 minutes. The closest Southern Arkansas could trim the lead was to 12 at 87-75 with just under three minutes remaining, but A&M-Commerce kept up the intensity, cruising to the 96-78 victory.
The victory improves the Lions to 7-0 on the year, continuing the third-best start in program history. A&M-Commerce has notched victories in its first seven outings for the first time since starting 8-0 in 1953-54.
That matchup comes against Henderson State as A&M-Commerce makes the short trip north to Arkadelphia. Opening tip against the Reddies is set for 7 p.m. from the Duke Wells Center with the game being broadcast live at KETR 88.9 FM or online at KETR.org.