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UMHB women open NCAA tournament with Rhodes

Posted at 3:41 PM, Feb 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-28 16:41:06-05

BELTON, TX — The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor women’s basketball team will play in an NCAA Division III National Championships for the first time in program history when the Cru opens the 2019 tournament Friday evening in Richardson. UMHB will take on Rhodes College in a 5 pm tip-off after advancing to the postseason as an at-large selection.

The Cru is 25-3 on the season and has already set a Division III era school record for wins in a season. The UMHB women went 15-1 in American Southwest Conference play and enter the tournament ranked 12th in the country by D3hoops.com and are tied for 13th in the nation in the WBCA Top 25 Coaches Poll. The Cru claimed an at-large bid after falling to UT Dallas in the ASC Championship Game on Saturday. The Lynx are 17-11 on the season and won the Southern Athletic Association Tournament to clinch the SAA’s automatic bid to the tournament. The two teams will be meeting for the first time but have a number of common opponents this season. UMHB and Rhodes both played Ozarks, Belhaven, Southwestern, Austin College, Oglethorpe University and Birmingham Southern this season. The Cru was 6-0 against those teams while the Lynx posted a 6-4 record in those contests. Hannah Holt leads UMHB in scoring at 15.7 points per game and Kendall Rollins (13.1 ppg) and Alicia Blackwell (10.5 ppg) also average double figures. Rollins and Holt also top the Cru in rebounding at 5.3 boards per game and Madison McCoy has a team-high 124 assists. UMHB is out rebounding its opponents by nearly six per game and shoots 43 percent as a team. The Cru is scoring 76.9 points per game while giving up an average of 60.4. Allie Young leads Rhodes in scoring and rebounding at 13.0 points and 7.4 rebounds per game. Alyssa Owens averages 11.1 points per game and has 54 three-pointers for a team that has 170 three-pointers on the season. The Lynx are holding opponents to 57.4 points per game and shoot 40 percent as a team. Rhodes averages 62.3 points per game as a team and forces an average of 13 turnovers a game.

ASC champion and tournament host UT Dallas will face Texas Lutheran University at 7 pm Friday in the other First Round Game. The Comets are 24-4 on the season and claimed the ASC’s automatic bid with a 63-58 victory over the Cru in the ASC title game. The Bulldogs won the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference and have a 19-9 record on the season. The UMHB-Rhodes winner will take on the UTD-TLU winner at 7 pm on Saturday with a berth in the Sectional Tournament on the line.

All of the tournament games will be played at the UTD Activity Center on the campus of UT Dallas. Live video and live statistics will be provided for all of the games with links available on www.cruathletics.com [cruathletics.com]. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students both days and will be available at the ticket windows. For more information, you can visit the UTD Tournament Central Page at: http://utdcomets.com/2019ncaawbb [utdcomets.com].