Commerce shoots 61 percent, beats Hounds

CNJ staff

COMMERCE, Texas — Senior forward Desmond King and junior forward Whitley Preston scored 21 points apiece and Texas A&M-Commerce shot 61 percent from the field en route to an 88-77 Lone Star Conference men’s basketball victory over Eastern New Mexico on Saturday night.

Guards Brad Hambrick and Devondrick Walker added 15 and 14 points, respectively, as the Lions (6-7, 1-4 LSC) earned their first conference victory and won for the fourth time in five games overall.

Senior guard Tralyn Harden led four players in double figures for the Greyhounds (9-7, 2-4) with 18 points, while senior guard Stefan Mirabal scored 14, senior guard Reggie Nelson 13 and senior forward Aaron Edwards 11.

The Hounds trailed for much of the first half, but erased a 16-12 deficit with a 9-0 run capped by Harden’s 3-pointer midway through the half.

After a 3-pointer by Mirabal gave ENMU a 24-21 advantage, the Lions went on their own 9-0 run that included 3-pointers from Hambrick and Walker and they went into halftime with a 40-35 advantage.

A 3-pointer by senior forward Max Carrier gave the Hounds a 47-43 lead with 14 1/2 minutes to play. A dunk by Curtis Wilkinson put the Hounds in front 54-52 at the 11:15 mark, but Commerce scored the next six points and never relinquished the lead.

ENMU kept the game close and pulled to 76-73 on two free throws by Harden with 4:27 to go. King then scored six points in an 11-0 run, including a tip-in and a dunk, that put the game away for the Lions.

Commerce wen 28-for-46 from the field and hit 10-of-16 from 3-point range, while Whitley hitting 4-of-5 and Walker 3-of-3. Meantime, the Hounds shot nearly 60 percent from 2-point range, but were 11-of-32 from beyond the arc.