A&M-Commerce girls drop Elite Eight match-up to Clayton State

From Staff Reports

Mar. 22, 2007 - KEARNEY, Neb. - 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 percent (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, respectively.

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 by draining her second 3-pointer 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.

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 percent (12-of-33) shooting from the field in the first half and 18 percent 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 trailed again 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.

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