ALLEN, Texas — Texas A&M-Commerce scored the final six points of the game, converting two turnovers by Eastern New Mexico University senior guard Rodney Blackmon into baskets in the final 20 seconds, and handed the Greyhounds a 74-73 loss on Thursday in the quarterfinals of the Lone Star Conference men’s basketball tournament.
Commerce’s Kameron Price converted two free throws with eight seconds left to give the Lions (19-8) their first lead since the 8:46 mark of the first half, when two free throws by senior guard Devone Davis pushed the Hounds (14-13) into a 24-23 lead.
Blackmon’s drive to the basket was off the mark as time expired. The Lions advance to 7:30 p.m. (MST) semifinal today against top-seeded Tarleton State, which beat West Texas A&M 89-70 on Wednesday.
Tyrie Wooten scored 16 points for the Lions, who also got 13 points from Kameron Price and 11 from Daniel Ehambe off the bench.
Meantime, ENMU put five players in double figures, with Blackmon and senior guard Rafael Love scoring 14 points each, senior forwards Phil Henry and Cornelius Cammock adding 13 apiece and sophomore forward Lawrence Domingo chipping in 12 off the bench. Blackmon also had a game-high seven assists.
The Hounds shot 55 percent from the field in the first half and opened a 47-39 lead at the intermission on Jordan Romero’s 3-pointer with five seconds to go, but were just 8-for-27 from the floor in the second half.
Blackmon’s layup just over a minute into the second half stretched the margin to double figures for the first time. ENMU led 55-42 with just under 16 minutes to go after Davis drained a 3-pointer.
Love’s 3-pointer with 14:02 to go kept the Hounds in front by double figures at 58-47, but Commerce got a dunk from Cameron Blue and two 3-pointers from Ehambe to pull to 58-55 with nine minutes left as ENMU went five minutes without scoring and nearly six minutes without a field goal.
Commerce pulled to 65-64 on a three-point play by Wooten with 5:40 to go. ENMU stretched the lead back to five points three times, the last at 73-68 on a jump shot by Cammock with 1:40 left.