The Commerce Journal
Trailing by 13 points midway through the second half, the Texas A&M University-Commerce women’s basketball team (3-5) mounted a furious rally against Henderson State, pulling to within one with just over three minutes remaining. But the Lions were unable to get over the hump, dropping a 75-72 decision to the Lady Reddies at the Duke Wells Center last Tuesday evening.
The Lions shot a season-high 47.6 percent from the floor, including an even 50 percent in the first half. But A&M-Commerce hit just 57.1 percent of its free throws (12-of-21) while Henderson State shot a blistering 57.4 percent from the floor, led by 33 points from Krystal Beachum to hand the Lions their fifth-straight loss.
A&M-Commerce had a more balanced attack than Henderson State with four players finishing in double figures, led by a career-high 18 points from La’Tisha Hearne. Breanna Harris just missed another double-double, finishing with 16 points and nine rebounds, including six offensive. Danielle Dixon and Michelle Sutton both finished with 12 points on the evening, setting season-highs for both players.
Henderson State raced out to a fast start against A&M-Commerce, scoring eight of the first 10 points to build an early six-point lead through the first three minutes of the contest. The Lady Reddies would extend that advantage to as many as nine, leading the Lions 26-17 with just over eight minutes remaining in the first half.
But A&M-Commerce put together a furious rally, outscoring the Lady Reddies 13-4 over a four-minute span and pulling even with Henderson State at 30-30 with 4:04 remaining. However, that run was matched by an even bigger one by the Lady Reddies, who would notch the next 13 points to build a 43-30 lead on the Lions, taking a 46-33 advantage into the halftime break.
Henderson State would maintain a double-digit lead for the first portion of the second half, holding a 66-54 lead on A&M-Commerce with 8:57 remaining in the game. But once again, the Lions seemed to find their offensive spark, stringing together a 10-0 run of its own over the next two and a half minutes, pulling to within two at 66-64 with 6:51 to go.
A&M-Commerce would claw its way to within one at 71-70 with just over three minutes to play as the Lions and Lady Reddies exchanged baskets down the stretch. But A&M-Commerce was unable to hit the key shots when it mattered while Henderson State sealed the game with free throws down the stretch, sealing the 75-72 decision.
The Lions had no answer for Beechum, whose 33 points proved to be the difference maker for the Lady Reddies. Destiny Smith finished with eight points and 10 rebounds for Henderson State while Shareka Maner and Dulincia Keener each added seven points in the victory.
Henderson State notched its second-straight win over A&M-Commerce and improves to 6-2 all-time against the Lions. A&M-Commerce continues to look to end its road woes as the Lions have dropped 36-straight road games, dating back to the 2009-10 season.
A&M-Commerce now gets an extended break for the Christmas holiday before resuming Lone Star Conference play once the calendar year changes to 2013. The Lions return to the court on Jan. 2, 2013, facing Incarnate Word at the Field House for the final time. Opening tip against the Cardinals is set for 5:30 p.m. with live video and stats available at LionAthletics.com.