Sports
Davis becomes program all-time minutes leader as A&M-Commerce women knock off MSU Texas 73-61
By Texas A&M University-Commerce
Feb 9, 2019
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Commerce, Texas -- The Texas A&M University-Commerce women's basketball team defeated MSU Texas 73-61 on Saturday afternoon. The Lions jumped on the Mustangs in the second half to secure to victory.
 
The win propels the Lions to 15-7 on the season and 10-4 in the Lone Star Conference. The Mustangs fall to 8-13 and 5-9 in conference play. A crowd of 1,073 witnessed the game as part of "Fill The Field House" presented by the Enrollment Management Division.
 
The Lions will be back in action next Tuesday to take on Tarleton. The game will be played in Stephenville at 5:30 p.m. at Wisdom Gym.
 
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE

- Alexis Bryant (Pflugerville) co-led the team with 16 points and also had a double-double with 12 rebounds.

- Ekaterina Zhibareva (Liske, Russia) also had 16 points, shooting 8-for-12 from the field.

- Alexus Jones (Lewisville - Aledo) added 14 points and Chania Wright (DeSoto) had 10 points.

- Late in the first quarter, Princess Davis (Shreveport, La.) recorded enough time to become the program's all-time minutes leader. Davis has now played a program-record 3,398 minutes. She had seven points and led the team with four assists.

- The Lions shot 42 percent from the field and scored 42 points in the paint. The Lions also forced 16 turnovers, turning them into 26 points.

- With the win, the Lions are now guaranteed to finish the season above .500. This is the fifth consecutive season the Lion women have finished .500 or above, which sets a program record.
 
HEAD COACH JASON BURTON AFTER THE GAME
His comments to the team after the game: "I told them we are playing like an NCAA-caliber team. We just need to keep doing what we are doing, one game at a time. The things that teams do that play deep into March, we are doing those things. We have to keep doing that. It is a long process. We can't take anybody lightly. One game at a time. We have to find ways to win, and we did that today."

On the play of Alexis Bryant: "We did a tremendous job of getting her the ball and she did a great job of finishing. We've been working on getting the ball to the post and it has translated. Alexis Bryant and Kate have both looked good these last two games. We need that. We have had tremendous guard play all year. When we have our post playing like they are right now, it makes us tough to guard. The way they are scoring is very good for us."

On the upcoming matchup against Tarleton: "They are a good team. I feel like we are always playing them late in the season. Their front line is very talented. They do a good job in the high-low. I thought last time we had a good game plan and our attention to detail was high. This difference this time is we will be on the road and it is a quick turnaround. We will have less time to prepare. Tuesday will be here before we know it."

HOW IT HAPPENED
The scoring went back and forth to start the game as the teams traded baskets early on in the matchup. Zhibareva and Bryant protected the paint early on for the Lions, but neither team could pull away from each other and the Lions led 20-19 after one quarter of play.
 
The Mustangs were much more physical in the second quarter and it showed as MSU shot 10 free throws in the quarter and got the Lions in foul trouble. Although being in foul trouble, the Lions were still able to maintain a lead against the Mustangs. The Lions extended their lead to as many as seven in the quarter after Maddison Glass (Missouri City - Hightower) penetrated the lane multiple times and Zhibareva gave the Lions good second chance opportunities by crashing the glass. Rebounding kept the Lions in the game as MSU took a 36-34 lead going into halftime.
 
Zhibareva led the Lions with eight points in the half. Jones and Davis both added six points, while Bryant and Glass each had five. The Lions outrebounded the Mustangs 21-13 in the half.
 
The Lions came out much more efficient on the offensive end to start the second half. The Lions jumped out to a 40-36 lead after Bryant and Jones both got to the free throw line early. Bryant continued to dominate the paint as she hit four more free throws and scored easily in the paint and the Lions regained the seven-point lead. The Lions concluded the quarter with an eight-point advantage after Zhibareva scored four more points. The Lions took a 57-49 lead going into the fourth.

The Lions put some distance between them and the Mustangs and extended their lead to 12 early on in the quarter. Wright got some good looks, scoring two quick buckets midway through the quarter to keep the Lions clear from the Mustangs. MSU could never get the score under 10 in the fourth and the Lions finished with a 73-61 victory.