The Commerce Journal


December 6, 2012

Women dominate TWU, struggle against Sam Houston State

COMMERCE — A strong defensive effort powered the Texas A&M University-Commerce women’s basketball team past Texas Woman’s University, 63-52, in their Lone Star Conference opener. The Lions have started the season 3-0 for the first time since the 2008-09 season. Breanna Harris and Amber Carver both recorded double-doubles in the win.

The Lions defense forced 15 turnovers leading to 13 points and providing the Lion offense the spark it needed to get going against the Pioneers. Texas Woman’s shot 4-22 in the half for a percentage of 18.2.

The Lions offense struggled in the first 10 minutes, only scoring nine points. But the transition baskets off of turnovers helped spark the offense to record 21 points in the final five minutes of the first half. The Lions closed the first half on a 14-4 run.

Aubree Butts and Amber Carver led the way in the first half for the Lions with seven and six points respectively. Kourtney Briscoe provided five points and Devin Oliver added four to go along with three steals. Ashlee Johnson dished out four assists in her six minutes of action with two of those coming in the last minute to push the Lions led to 11 both times. The first was a diagonal half court pass to a streaking Butts for a layup and the second was a pass back to the top of the key to find Carver for an open jumper from the line.

Breanna Harris made a presence with her six rebounds; Briscoe, Harris, Dixon and La’Tisha Hearne all recorded at least one steal.

Harris had a double-double in the second half alone with 10 rebounds and 13 points. On top of her first half numbers she finished with 13 points and 16 boards. The boards are one short of her career high on 17.

Freshmen Carver and Butts each had double figures with 11 and 15 respectively. Carver also recorded her first double-double in her career at A&M-Commerce.

Kourtney Brisoce capped off her night with seven points, three rebounds and three assists. Ashlee Johnson made the most of her 17 minutes with a three points, four rebounds and five assists performance. Those totals mark season highs in all categories.

The Lions defense held the Pioneers under their 55 points per game average. TWU struggled to get consistent looks throughout the game and only shot 26 percent from the field and 16 percent from behind the arc. The Lions also held the top two scoring options for the Pioneers in Tabbatha Thurmond and Toree Mason, below their averages for the season.

Lions struggle on the road against Bearkats

A&M-Commerce (3-1) traveled to Sam Houston State but were unable to keep pace with the Bearkats and suffered a road loss, 78-50.

The Lions struck first against the Bearkats but were unable to turn that into some momentum and the Bearkats raced out to an early 9-2 advantage and lead by as many as 13 in the first half. Sam Houston State was able to force 14 turnovers and turned those into nine points. The Lions did force 10 turnovers but were only able to produce four points.

A&M-Commerce was only able to shoot 28 percent from the field in the first half. The Lions were led by Aubree Butts with eight points. Breanna Harris added four points and six rebounds in the opening 20 minutes. Amber Carver put together three points and two rebounds and Symone Brown added two points and two rebounds.

The Lion defense held the Bearkats offense to 2-13 from behind the arc and first half.

A&M-Commerce were not able to cut into the ten-point deficit at the half during the second 20 minutes. The Bearkats were able to extend their lead to as many as 31 points with just over two minutes to play.

The Bearkats were able to outscore the Lions 18-4 in the paint in the second half. This inside advantage led to Sam Houston to shooting 58.1 percent from the field.

Freshman center, Amber Carver, had her second double-figure scoring day with ten points on the afternoon to go along with six rebounds. Shanekqua Bibbs and Rachel Bail made their season debuts with six points each. La’Tisha Hearne had a good performance with six points and four rebounds.

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What should be new A&M-C women's basketball coach Jason Burton's goals for the 2014-15 season?

Winning 10 games
Winning and LSC tournament game
His focus should be on recruiting/building the team, rather than immediate success
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