The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor women’s basketball team broke open a one-point game in the final minutes as the Cru pulled away late for an 81-71 victory over Louisiana College in the Quarterfinals of the American Southwest Conference Championship Tournament Thursday in Richardson. UMHB raises its record to 22-4 with the victory and the Cru also sets a new school Division III era record for single-season victories. The loss ends the Wildcats season at 14-11.
UMHB dominated the second quarter and seemed to take control of the game, leading 40-30 at halftime. Louisiana College battled back and trailed just 59-56 going into the fourth quarter. The Wildcats cut the lead to 65-64 with 5:36 remaining in the game before UMHB pushed it back to a five-point advantage. LC would close to within 69-68 with 3:42 left to play, but the Cru answered with a 10-0 run to seize control again. UMHB scored all ten of those points from the free-throw line as the Cru defense held the Wildcats scoreless on seven missed shots and a turnover in a span of 3:08. Hannah Holt and Alicia Blackwell combined to score all ten of those points as UMHB was able to ice the game from the stripe.
Holt led the Cru with 23 points and 13 rebounds and she was 11-12 from the free-throw line. Blackwell added 20 points, seven rebounds and five assists and Aubrie Elliott chipped in 13 points off the bench. Haven Neal pulled down 11 rebounds as the Cru held a 52-46 edge on the boards. UMHB shot 36 percent from the field and went 5-17 from three-point range. The Cru also hit 22-28 from the free-throw line and was 16-18 from the stripe in the final quarter.
Kourtney McGhee topped LC with 22 points and ten rebounds. Brooke Jones added 21 points and ten boards. The Wildcats shot just 21 percent from the field in the fourth period after hitting 65 percent in the third. Louisiana College finished at 38 percent for the game and was 5-20 from beyond the arc. The Wildcats also turned the ball over 18 times in the loss.
UMHB will now advance to the Semifinals to take on Concordia Texas at 5:00 PM on Friday. The Tornados advanced with a 79-68 victory over U.T.-Tyler in the first Quarterfinal game on Thursday. The Cru and the Tornados split two meetings during the regular season with each team winning on its home floor.