The Texas A&M University-Commerce men's basketball team will head to the finals for the first time in four years on the strength of a triple-double, while the women's team fell to the No. 1 seed in semifinal action of the Lone Star Conference Tournament on Saturday in Frisco.
The men defeated Angelo State 88-77, while the women fell to West Texas A&M by a score of 58-44.
The trip to the finals is the first for the Lion men since 2015, when they defeated Angelo State for the Tournament Championship.
The men led for much of the first half, but the Rams held the game close and held the Lions' lead to less than 10 points all half.
A&M-Commerce let the lead slip away in the waning minutes of the first half, and Angelo State held a 38-37 advantage when the teams headed to the locker rooms.
The Lions had to claw back, and did not regain the lead until more than six minutes had passed in the second half. After some back and forth play, A&M-Commerce grabbed the lead again with 12:40 remaining and did not relinquish it again. The Lions cruised to a 88-77 victory.
Willie Rooks made history for the Lions, picking up the first triple-double in LSC Tournament history since the tourney moved to a neutral site in 2008. It was also only the second triple-double by an LSC player this season, with Lion teammate Reggie Reid having the other one.
Rooks finished with 13 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds on the night, and played 38 out of the games' 40 minutes. Deonta Terrell led all Lion scorers with 21 points on eight-of-12 shooting, while Austin Grandstaff had 17 points, four boards and five assists.
In the women's game, A&M-Commerce got out to an early lead and was ahead for much of the half. But once again, West Texas held tough, keeping the Lion's lead to just 16-13 after the first quarter.
Both teams had trouble in the second quarter, with only four points scored in the last four minutes of play. But like in the Lion men's game from earlier, A&M-Commerce saw the lead slip away late in the half, and trailed 26-25 after two quarters.
After briefly regaining the lead early in the third, the Lions would not lead again, as poor shooting sealed the fate of A&M-Commerce.
The Lions fell behind even more, and the final score of 58-44 sent West Texas to the finals and A&M-Commerce home.
Alexis Bryant led the Lions with 12 points and six rebounds. Princess Davis added 11 points, four boards and five assists. The Lions only shot 29-percent from the floor as a team.
The men improve to 23-7 on the year, while the women finish with a record of 20-10, just the third-ever 20-win season for the women's basketball program and the second in the last three years.
The men's team will face off against first-seeded West Texas A&M tomorrow at 1 p.m. at the Comerica Center in Frisco.