Both the women's and men's basketball teams from Texas A&m University-Commerce were in action Friday night in the first round of the NCAA playoffs, with the women seeing their season come to a close and the men advancing to the next round with a two-point victory.
This was the first time that both teams had reached the NCAA Tournament in the same season, and just the second-ever trip for the Lion women.
In the women's game, A&M-Commerce hung tough with second-seeded Colorado Mesa in Grand Junction, Colo., even taking a 35-30 lead at halftime. But the Lion offense was stimied in the third quarter, getting outscored 29-9 in the frame. The deficit was too much as A&M-Commerce fell 75-65.
Four Lions finished in double figures, led by departing senior Princess Davis who had 17 points to go with five assists and four rebounds. Alexis Bryant had 13 points and a game-high 10 boards, while Chania Wright added 12. Mykiel Burleson had 11 and four rebounds. A&M-Commerce only shot 37-percent from the floor and 27-percent from three-point range as a team.
The Lion men played a very close game to a strong Dallas Baptist squad at the West Texas A&M campus. A back-and-forth first half left A&M-Commerce down 38-35. The Lions were down by four in the closing stages, but went on a run to score the final six points of the contest to squeeze past with a 72-70 victory.
Willie Rooks led the team in scoring with 21 points on seven-of-12 shooting. He also tied for the team lead with six rebounds. Austin Grandstaff had 11 points and six boards, Rodney Brown scored 11 and Reggie Reid scored 10. The Lions were outshot 42 to 50-percent, but had a clear advantage from the charity stripe, hitting 16 of their 24 free throws while DBU only made five of 12.
The loss for the women ends their season at a record of 20-11, while the men improve to 24-8. They advance on to play No. 1-seeded West Texas A&M on their home court. The Buffaloes have beaten A&M-Commerce three separate times already this season, and currently hold a five-game winning streak over the Lions dating back to last season's Lone Star Conference Tournament.
The game will tip off at 7:30 p.m. tonight in Canyon, Texas.