3-21-07 - Despite a game-high 18 points from senior forward Tradawn
Short, Texas A&M-Commerce dropped a 60-55 decision to No. 16 Clayton State
in the Elite Eight of the NCAA Division II Women's Basketball Championship
on Wednesday at the Health and Sports Center in Kearney, Neb.
Short led all scorers, but the Lions couldn't overcome a 31.9% (22-69) field
goal percentage, their lowest of the season. Sophomore guard Britney Jordan
scored 12 points and seniors Kanani Marshal and Dawn Montgomery chipped in
nine and six points, respectively. Marshal also added seven assists, seven
rebounds and three steals in her final collegiate outing.
Clayton State's Crystal Brown scored a team-high 15 points, eight of which
came in the second half. Nikkisha Pritchett and Lynette Jackson rounded out
the double-digit scoring efforts for the Lakers with 12 and 10,
In a toughly contested opening half, A&M-Commerce battled back from a
nine-point deficit on the strength of a 7-0 run sparked by a Short lay-up.
Marshal followed suit by draining her second three of the half and Jordan
hit a jumper to cut the Lakers lead to two, 24-22, with 7:24 remaining in
the first period.
The Lions finished the half on a 13-5 run to enter the locker room trailing
by one point, 29-28, after 20 minutes of action.
The Lions scored 16 of their 28 first half points in the paint and forced 13
Laker turnovers which directly translated into seven points. The Lakers
held A&M-Commerce to 36% (12-of-33) shooting from the field in the first
half and 18% from beyond the arc (2-of-11).
Tradawn Short scored 10 points in the first half to lead all scorers and
Jordan recorded eight points on 4-of-8 shooting from the floor.
Junior Lynette Jackson scored eight points in the opening period to pace the
Lakers, while Crystal Brown added seven for Clayton State.
The Lions opened the second half on an 8-2 tear to take a 36-31 lead with
16:27 remaining. However, in a second half that featured eight ties and
nine lead changes, no lead was safe.
The Lakers stormed back to take a 50-49 lead with 6:16 remaining in the
second half and never looked back en route to the 60-55 victory.
With the loss the Lions close the book on one of the most memorable and
historic seasons in its 35-year existence. A&M-Commerce broke 28 school
records on their way to qualifying for the National Tournament for the first
time in school history.