UMHB Press Release
By: Jon Wallin
LONGVIEW, Texas – The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor women’s basketball team rallied from a second-half deficit and used clutch free-throw shooting in the final seconds to hold off LeTourneau University 67-64 Saturday afternoon in Longview. The Cru improves to 19-4 overall and 12-2 in American Southwest Conference play with the victory. The loss drops the Yellowjackets to 12-11 overall and 8-6 in the ASC on the year.
UMHB trailed 61-56 with 3:15 left to play before baskets from A’Lexiss Benton and Alicia Blackwell cut the deficit to one. Keauna Whitfield hit three free-throws with two minutes remaining, but the Cru would not allow another point. Allaira Jones hit a jumper to cut it to 64-62 and she added a free-throw to make it a one-point game. Bethany McLeod gave UMHB a lead with two free-throws with 37 seconds on the clock. The Cru defense forced a turnover on the ensuing LeTourneau possession and Alicia Blackwell added some breathing room with two more free-throws with 11 seconds to go. The Yellowjackets would miss two shots in the final seconds as UMHB held on for the win. The Cru led 32-31 at halftime and 47-46 at the end of the third quarter before LeTourneau bounced back for the lead in the final period.
Hannah Holt led UMHB with 23 points and seven rebounds. Blackwell and McLeod added 10 points apiece. The Cru shot 38 percent from the field and went 21-24 from the free-throw line. UMHB forced 19 turnovers to help overcome 2-8 shooting from three-point range.
Whitfield topped LeTourneau with 27 points as she hit four three-pointers. No other player was in double figures for the Yellowjackets, but Flora Akingbade pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds. LeTourneau shot 40 percent from the field but was just 14-24 from the stripe. The Yellowjackets out rebounded UMHB 42-34 on the day.
The Cru women stayed in a tie for first place in the ASC West Division with the victory. UMHB has already clinched a berth in the conference tournament and will close out the regular season with road games at Howard Payne and Sul Ross State next week.