Cowboys lose late lead, fall 60-58 to Commerce

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COMMERCE, Texas – McNeese dropped its ninth-straight game Saturday afternoon after falling 60-58 to Texas A&M-Commerce in Southland Conference action.

McNeese fell to 5-19 overall and 2-9 in league play while Commerce improved to 11-13 and 7-3. McNeese remains alone in last place in the league standings but just one game behind Lamar and New Orleans for the No. 8 spot for the postseason tournament.

Christian Shumate led the Cowboys with 16 points and 10 rebounds while true freshman Donovan Oday scored a career-high 14 points. Shumate recorded his second-consecutive double-double his eighth on the season.

Kalen Williams led the Lions with 14 points followed by JJ Romer Rosario with 12 and Jerome Brewer Jr. 11.

Neither team shot well from the floor but the Lions held a slight advantage at 39 percent to the Cowboys’ 32 percent. The Lions connected on 12 of 13 from the free throw line while McNeese missed 10 freebies and finished 17 for 27. And for the second straight game, McNeese was stagnant from long range, hitting just 5 of 20 for 25 percent.

McNeese led 29-27 at the half and built a 46-39 lead following a 7-0 run to break a tie with 9:47 to play. The lead grew to 50-42 following a couple of Oday free throws with 7:29 remaining and after Johnathan Massie connected on two foul shots, the Cowboys led 53-46 with 5:38 to play.

Commerce responded with a 10-0 run over the next three minutes and outscored the Cowboys 14-5 in the final five-and-a-half to play.

Next up, McNeese returns home on Thursday against Southeastern Louisiana who is in a three-way tie for first place.

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