The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor women's basketball team started strong and never looked back as the Cru avenged its last loss and put itself in position to play for a conference championship with a dominating performance. UMHB rolled to a 79-51 victory over Concordia Texas in the Semifinals of the American Southwest Conference Championship Tournament Friday evening in Richardson. The Cru improves to 23-4 on the season with the victory. The loss ends the Tornados season at 15-12.
UMHB scored the game's first 11 points and held CTX scoreless for the first 6:39 of the contest. The Tornados would close to within 17-9 at the end of the first period and pulled to within six points at 24-18 with 6:31 left in the second quarter. The Cru would close the first half with a 12-2 run and held a 36-20 edge at halftime. UMHB controlled the third quarter and stretched the lead out to as many as 34 points before settling for a 66-37 lead after three periods of play. The Cru would never let the Tornados get closer than the final margin over the final ten minutes to coast to the victory.
Kendall Rollins topped UMHB with 26 points and 11 rebounds and she hit 12-13 from the free-throw line. Haven Neal, Hannah Holt and Alicia Blackwell all chipped in 12 points apiece for the Cru and eight different players scored. Blackwell also had eight rebounds and Meghan Turner dished off nine assists for UMHB. The Cru shot 44 percent from the field as a team and hit 20-24 from the free-throw stripe. UMHB was 3-9 from beyond the arc and also out rebounded the Tornados 48-41 in the victory.
Jaela Dejean was the only player to reach double figures for CTX with 13 points and she also had a team-high ten rebounds. The Tornados did not make more than six baskets in any quarter and only shot 27 percent from the field as a team. Concordia was also just 2-16 from three-point range in the loss.
The Cru women will now advance to the ASC Championship Game to face the U.T.-Dallas/East Texas Baptist winner at 6:00 PM on Saturday. The ASC Champion receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III National Championships. The UMHB women will be making their fourth appearance in the ASC title game and their first since the 2014 Tournament. The Cru women have never won the ASC title or advanced to the NCAA postseason.