UMHB women edge East Texas Baptist in conference semifinals

BELTON, Texas The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor women’s basketball team overcome a double-digit first quarter deficit and scored the game-winning points with less than a second left as the Cru knocked off East Texas Baptist 64-62 in the Semifinals of the American Southwest Conference Championship Tournament Friday night in Belton. The Cru will now move into Saturday’s Championship Game with a chance to win the first ASC title in program history.

UMHB took its first lead of the game on D’Ashiah Williams’ free throw with 0.5 seconds left in the third quarter and was up 47-46 after three quarters. The Cru scored the first six points of the final period to grab a seven-point lead but ETBU battled back and led 60-55 with 3:41 left to play. Alexia Martin hit a three-pointer for UMHB and the Cru tied it on a Williams jumper with 2:40 remaining. Kendrick Clark put the Tigers back on top with two free throws before another Williams basket tied it at 62-62 with 42 seconds to play. ETBU turned the ball over on a travel with 10.9 seconds on the clock, setting up one final chance for the Cru. Williams got loose underneath and hit a jumper off an assist from Madison McCoy with 0.3 seconds remaining. ETBU was unable to get off a shot on its final possession, setting off a celebration in a raucous Mayborn Campus Center.

The Tigers held UMHB to 22 percent shooting in the first quarter and led 23-13 ten minutes into the game. The Cru clamped down defensively in the second period to cut it to 31-26 at halftime. UMHB had two chances to take the lead midway through the third quarter, but could not break through until Williams converted her free throw at the end of the stanza.

Kendall Rollins led the Cru with 13 points. Williams and Hannah Holt added 11 points apiece and Aubrie Elliott scored 10 points. Williams also had six rebounds, three blocked shots and two assists. UMHB shot 38 percent from the field as a team and forced 18 Tiger turnovers in the win.

Clark led all scorers with 20 points for ETBU on 8-13 shooting. Childress added 14 points and a team-high eight rebounds. The Tigers shot 41 percent from the field as a team and out rebounded UMHB 44-33 on the night.

UMHB will face U.T. Dallas in the Championship Game at 6 pm on Saturday with the winner also clinching the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Division III National Championships.