COMMERCE, Texas — Freshman guard De’Andre Carson’s 3-pointer gave Texas A&M-Commerce its first lead with less than 2 1/2 minutes remaining in the half and the Lions pulled away in the second half for a 79-71 Lone Star Conference men’s basketball victory over cold-shooting Eastern New Mexico University on Wednesday night.
Senior guard Devondrick Walker scored 20 points for Commerce (16-8, 5-7 LSC), which pulled to within a game of the Greyhounds (13-11, 6-6) and Angelo State in the battle for third place in the league. After managing only seven field goals in the first half, the Lions shot 48 percent after halftime and building as much as a 12-point lead.
Senior guard Rodney Blackmon had 15 points for the Hounds, while senior forward Phil Henry and senior guard Devone Davis added 14 apiece. Meantime, senior guard Rafael Love also reached double figures with 12 points.
But other than Henry (6-for-6) and fellow post player Lawrence Domingo (3-for-3), the rest of the Hounds shot just 26 percent from the field (14-of-54) and went a combined 4-of-20 from 3-point range.
Love and Blackmon hit back-to-back 3s to stake ENMU to an 8-2 lead 3 1/2 minutes in, and the Hounds maintained it until Carson’s 3-pointer made it 26-24.
Two free throws by senior forward Cornelius Cammock tied the score with 51 seconds left in the half, but Craig Fofang’s basket put Commerce ahead for good 28-26 at halftime.
Love’s 3-pointer with 18:28 left kept ENMU within 30-29, but 3-pointers by Walker and junior guard LaDon Carnegie and two free throws by Tyrie Wooton put the Lions up by nine.
ENMU pulled to 42-40 on a dunk by Henry with 13:12 to go, and within a point on a layup by Davis at the 10:54 mark before Commerce began to slowly pull away. The Lions’ biggest lead was 71-59 with three minutes left after two free throws by Carson.
Carson finished with 15 points and Carnegie 12 for Commerce. Both teams shot well from the foul line — ENMU 21-of-25, A&M-C 26-of-31.
Henry and Domingo fouled out late.