RICHARDSON, Texas After being plagued by another sluggish first quarter and rebounding deficit, the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor women’s basketball team responded with a barrage of second quarter three-pointers to take control of the game in a 70-56 victory over Rhodes College in the First Round of the 2019 NCAA Division III National Championships. The Cru now advances to the Second Round of the tournament Saturday night in Richardson.
The Lynx stormed out to a 16-8 lead to open the game as Alicia Blackwell was the only UMHB player to score in the first 9:05 of the contest. The Cru would hold Rhodes scoreless for the final 3:36 of the period and closed to within 16-13 on Blackwell’s three-pointer to end the quarter. Madison McCoy hit back-to-back three’s to give UMHB its first lead of the game at 19-16. The Cru would out score the Lynx 26-7 in the second to grab a 39-23 lead at halftime. UMHB hit 5-7 from three-point range in the second ten minutes and shot 54 percent overall in the period. Rhodes was just 3-13 from the field in that quarter.
The Cru was cold to start the second half, scoring just one basket in the first six minutes of the third quarter. But a smothering defensive effort and strong rebounding effort helped keep the Lynx at bay. Rhodes closed to 39-29, but Hannah Holt scored seven straight points to push the lead to 17. Blackwell would add a jumper at the third quarter buzzer to give the Cru a 52-32 lead going into the final period. The Lynx turned to full-court pressure in the final period and converted several turnovers into transition buckets to cut the gap to 11 points. UMHB answered with a 12-4 run to retake control and Rhodes would not get closer than 14 points the rest of the way.
Holt led the Cru with 20 points and she hit 4-6 from three-point range. Blackwell finished with 18 points on 7-10 shooting. Kendall Rollins had a game-high ten rebounds. UMHB finished 11-25 from beyond the arc and shot 36 percent overall as a team. The Cru out rebounded Rhodes 43-37 after the Lynx held an 11-7 advantage on the boards after the opening period.
Allie Young led Rhodes with 17 points and eight rebounds. Lindsey Whiteside added 15 points and Alyssa Owens scored 11. The Lynx shot 36 percent as a team and went 4-14 from long range. Rhodes also turned the ball over 17 times in the loss.
The Cru improves to 26-3 on the season with the victory and extends its school record for wins in a season. UMHB will now face the winner of the UT Dallas/Texas Lutheran First Round game in the Second Round at 7 pm on Saturday.