SAN ANTONIO, Texas — Even though they were facing a team called the Kangaroos, it was the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor women’s basketball team jumping into the Second Round of the NCAA Division III National Championships with a 78-63 win over Austin College Friday night in San Antonio. UMHB improves to 25-4 and advances to the Second Round of the postseason for the second straight year. The loss ends AC’s season at 22-5.
UMHB jumped out to an 11-5 lead to start the game and opened up a 22-14 lead late in the opening period. The Roos would cut it to 22-16 at the end of the first stanza. Alicia Blackwell and A’Lexiss Benton had five points apiece in the first quarter. The Cru defense also held Austin College to 33 percent shooting from the field while hitting 59 percent as a team in the first ten minutes. Both teams struggled to score in the second period. UMHB managed just one basket in the first six minutes of the second quarter as AC opened the period with an 11-4 run to grab a 27-26 lead with four minutes to go in the first half. Blackwell’s jumper stopped the run and gave the lead back to the Cru 24 seconds later and she added a layup to stretch the lead to three. Austin College tied it up before Blackwell came up with another jumper to make it 32-20 UMHB at halftime. Blackwell had a game-high 11 at the break while Sarah Gwin led the Roos with seven points.
Allaira Jones hit two jumpers for the only points of the first six minutes of the third quarter as the Cru lead grew to 36-30. Austin College’s first point of the second half came on a Reagan Chiaverini free-throw with 3:47 to go in the third and the Roos first basket of the half was an Ally Longaker jumper with 1:43 remaining in the period. Brooke Elliott hit a three-pointer and three free-throws to give UMHB its biggest lead of the night at 44-33 in the final minute of the quarter and Ke’Aunna Johnson added a basket to push it to 46-33. It would go to the final ten minutes at 47-37 UMHB after the Cru held the Roos to 2-10 shooting in the third quarter. UMHB scored the first five points of the fourth to open up a 15-point advantage and Hannah Holt’s three-pointer 2:15 into the period made it a 17-point edge.AC would close to within 63-51 with 3:39 on the clock, but Holt scored four straight points to stretch the lead to 67-51 with two minutes remaining. The Roos hung around and closed the gap to 71-62 on a Gwin three-pointer with 1:09 to go, but UMHB was able to ice the game from the free-throw line.
Blackwell led the Cru with 15 points and she added seven rebounds and six assists. Jones had 14 points and a game-high 12 rebounds. Elliott also had a season-high 14 off the bench. UMHB shot 47 percent from the field and 19-28 from the free-throw line. The Cru out rebounded Austin College 40-36 on the night and avenged a 70-61 regular season loss to AC.
Ann Savage had a game-high 21 points to lead the Kangaroos. Longaker added 12 and Gwin had 10. UMHB limited AC to 33 percent shooting as a team and the Roos were just 9-30 from beyond the arc.
The Cru will now advance to face the winner of the Trinity-UT Dallas First Round Game. The Second Round game will be played Saturday at 7 pm at the Bell Center on the Trinity University campus.