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Lions dominate the paint in win over Mustangs

Comments from Texas A&M-Commerce head coach Jaret von Rosenberg and Midwestern State head coach Justin Leslie following tonight’s win for the Lions.

Texas A&M-Commerce head coach Jaret von Rosenberg

On winning points in the paint and having a 13-11 edge in offensive boards:

“Our team statistically over the year – if you’d told me that we would go 5-of-19 from three and 13-of-23 from the foul line I would’ve told you that we were going to be in trouble but our guys did a really nice job defending. We had some live-ball turnovers in transition and we were able to get back and get stops and that’s key especially when you go on the road and try to win a game.”

On Deonta Terrell’s performance who scored 21 points in the game:

“I just said on the radio that I think Wayne Stewart had his 15th point around the 18:30 mark of the second half and didn’t score again but that’s what is so special about Wayne is that Josh (Winbush) got going and Deonta got going and Wayne got them the ball and let them make plays. That’s fun to see. You’re getting in the dog days of February and you’ve played a lot of games together and it’s great to see other guys be successful and cheer on their teammates when their number may not be called as much.”

On the importance of every game in a tight Lone Star Conference race:

“Teams get tired. I give them a lot of credit tonight. They don’t look like a four-win team. If you take away a five-minute spurt we had in the second half, we’re tied or down for 35 minutes. Deonta went on a run offensively and we were able to get enough stops to separate just enough. It’s tough because you don’t know what to expect every night. Every team is good, every team has good players and every team wants to win so I think the team that shows up and finds a way to play together the most is going to have the best chance and home court is a big thing. We went 1-0 tonight and we have to find a way to go 1-0 on Saturday against a tough Cameron team.”

MSU head coach Justin Leslie

On the performance of Trae Jones who recorded his first career double-double:

“Trae has been really engaged and buying in these last few weeks. He’s showing glimpses. I’ve been happy with how he’s been as an offensive player making shots and learning how to hunt shots. I’ll tell you what, that sucker really stuck his nose in there tonight and that’s what we ask from the guards – stick your nose in there and fight. We knew the bigs were going to be engaged with their frontcourt and we needed those guards to come in and clean up those boards and tonight Trae had a monster effort getting his first career double-double.”

On where the team is focusing on improving down the stretch:

“It’s being efficient on the offensive end and on the defensive end we have got to protect the paint better. You look back at our last three games and teams have been able to drive us way too easy and score without having to run plays. It’s been guards finding the paint and putting our defense in jeopardy and that’s something that we are really going to have to clean up moving forward.”

Notes: Lions outscored MSU 40-22 in the paint; MSU leads all-time series 55-39; Lions have their longest win streak in the series with six consecutive victories; Lions have won eight of their last nine games against MSU; This was the first game of a four-game homestand for the Mustangs; Lions travel to play Cameron on Saturday at 4 p.m. while MSU will host UT Tyler at 4 p.m. Saturday afternoon.

TEXAS A&M-COMMERCE (15-8, 11-6)

Wayne Stewart 6-12 2-2 15; Donta Terrell 8-14 4-4 21; Alberto Moreno 5-13 4-6 15; Leo Lara 0-7 0-0 0; Austin Grandstaff 2-4 0-0 5; Josh Winbush 6-6 2-7 14; Carius Key 1-3 1-3 3; Isaiah Wiggins 0-1 0-0 0; Alex Peavy 1-2 0-0 3; River Reed 1-1 0-1 2. Totals 30-63 13-23 78.

MIDWESTERN STATE (4-19, 4-13)

Jalin Brown 4-10 2-2 10; Elijah Lee 1-3 4-4 6; Trae Jones 7-12 0-0 20; Darius Thompson 2-13 0-0 5; D’monta Harris 6-15 4-6 18; Daniel Mosley 0-0 0-0 0; Reggie Rivera 0-1 0-0 0; Derrick Herrick 2-4 0-0 6; Ola Ayodele 2-2 0-0 4; Evan McCarthy 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 24-62 10-12 69.

Halftime score — TAMUC 37, MSU 34. 3-Point Goals —TAMUC 5-19 (Stewart 1-4, Terrell 1-3, Moreno 1-4, Lara 0-4, Grandstaff 1-2, Peavy 1-2); MSU 11-33 (Lee 0-1, Jones 6-11, Thompson 1-8, Harris 2-7, Rivera 0-1, Herrick 2-4, McCarthy 0-1). Fouled Out —TAMUC (None); MSU (None). Rebounds — TAMUC 40 (Stewart 14); MSU 37 (Jones 10). Assists — TAMUC 14 (Stewart 4); MSU 18 (Lee 8). Total Fouls — TAMUC 16, MSU 19. Technicals — TAMUC (None); MSU (None). A — 875.

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