Richardson (February 22, 2013) -- The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor men’s basketball team survived LeTourneau’s comeback bid as the Cru held on for a 61-54 victory over the Yellowjackets in the opening round of the American Southwest Conference Championship Tournament. UMHB improves to 22-4 on the season with the win. The loss ends LeTourneau’s year at 11-15.
The Cru controlled the game early and built a 29-16 lead with 2:39 left in the first half. LeTourneau outscored UMHB 8-2 the rest of the first half to cut the gap to 31-24 at halftime. The Cru never led by more than six points after the Yellowjackets scored the opening basket of the second half and LeTourneau pulled to within 53-52 with 4:33 remaining. Thomas Orr buried a three-pointer on the next UMHB possession and the Cru stretched the lead back to seven points on three Brian Todd free-throws. LeTourneau would not get closer than five points the rest of the way as the Cru was able to ice the game from the stripe.
Orr topped UMHB with 20 points and he hit 4-8 from three-point range. James Allen added 16 points and Kitrick Bell had nine points and a game-high 11 rebounds. The Cru shot just 35 percent from the field and 15-28 from the free-throw line. UMHB was also out rebounded 45-42 in the game.
Ladaria Brown led LeTourneau with 14 points and Deitrich Williams and Justin Jones scored 12 points apiece. The Yellowjackets shot just 33 percent from the field and went 7-25 from three-point range.
UMHB will now advance to a 2:00 PM semifinal to face either U.T.-Tyler or Hardin-Simmons on Saturday. The winner of Saturday’s game moves into Sunday’s Championship Game at 2:00 PM with a shot at a conference title and the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Division III National Championships.
In Brownwood, the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor women’s basketball team kept it close in the early going but could not keep it up in the second half as the Cru fell to Louisiana College 92-52 in the opening round of the American Southwest Conference Championship Tournament Friday. LC improves to 23-3 and advances to a 2:00 PM Semifinal game on Saturday with the victory.
UMHB scored the game’s first three points and led 15-14 with 11:47 left in the first half. The Wildcats answered with a 30-16 run to close the half for a 44-31 halftime lead. The Cru would be within 16 at 52-36 with 17:32 left to play, but LC went on a 15-0 run and UMHB never recovered.
Samara Williams topped the Cru with 17 points. Taylor Tucker added 11 points and 10 rebounds and Kourtney Bevers also pulled down ten boards for UMHB. The Cru shot just 33 percent from the field and turned the ball over 35 times. UMHB did out rebound the Wildcats 51-41 in the loss.
Natosha Gottlieb had a monster game for LC, leading all scorers with 38 points on 14-23 shooting. Neka Jones and Shaina Howard chipped in 11 points each for the Wildcats. Louisiana College shot 43 percent from the field and hit 13 three-pointers.
The loss ends UMHB’s season at 8-17. The game also closes out the playing career of lone Cru senior Brandy Dittert. UMHB was playing in the ASC Tournament for the seventh time in the last eight seasons.