Texas A&M University-Texarkana got in late foul trouble, and missed some key free throws that cost the Eagles their second straight setback at the Patterson Student Center to Lyon College.
Lyon College (2-0) rallied from an eight-point deficit in the final 7:32 to beat the Eagles, 69-63. It didn’t help A&M-Texarkana when leading scorer Anthony McGee left the game in the first half with an ankle injury.
Senior Desmond Kennedy did more than his share Thursday night with a season-high 27 points, including eight 3-pointers. Six different Eagles made treys, including one by McGee before he left the floor. The taller Scots outrebounded Texarkana, 32-23, while sinking 14 of 20 free throws. The Eagles finished 8 of 16 from the charity stripe, missing the front end of one-and-one situations three times in the final minutes.
“We’re small until we get some guys back, but we’ve also got to be tougher on the boards,” said A&M-Texarkana coach Ryan Wall. “We’re going to live and die by the three-pointer, especially right now because we’re not full strength. The guys have got to do a better job of penetrating and getting open shots. Down the stretch tonight we didn’t get many shots. Lyon is a good team, that has been together for a long time.”
Lyon College shoots 57 percent from the field
The Eagles finished the game 20 of 52 (38 percent) from the field, with 39 of those shots coming from 3-point range. Lyon College shot 57 percent (25 of 44).
Kennedy’s outside shooting helped the Eagles take a 36-33 lead to the dressing room at intermission. He scored 14 of his points in the first 20 minutes.
Texarkana’s lead was 55-47 with 7:32 left. Seconds later Kennedy drew his fourth foul, joining freshman Decorion Phillips, who also had four fouls. Wall spent the next four minutes substituting Kennedy and Phillips in on offense, taking them out when the Eagles were playing defense.
The Scots captured the lead with 3:45 left in the game on a layup by 6-7 Jonathan Iliya of Abuja, Nigeria. Guard Hunter Daley then made a steal and uncontested layup to make it 63–60. It was 65-60 when Connor Ouellette buried his third trey with 21 seconds left to make the Eagles’ deficit two points. Lyon made four free throws in the final 16 seconds for the final points.
Junior guard Dominque Loyd led the Scots with 20 points, which included 9 of 10 free throws. Iliya finished with 15 points, while Daley contributed 15.
Ouellette had 14 points, a game-high 9 rebounds, and 5 assists. Phillips was the only other Eagle in double figures with 10 points.
The Eagles (1-3) will be back in action Saturday at 3 p.m. against Northern New Mexico College at the Patterson Student Center.