University of Mary Hardin-Baylor Press Release
By: Jon Wallin
CLARKSVILLE, Arkansas – The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor men’s basketball team stormed back from a 16-point deficit to take a lead, but the Cru did not have another comeback in them in an 89-72 loss to Louisiana College in the Semifinals of the American Southwest Conference Championship Tournament Sunday in Arkansas. The loss snaps UMHB’s 13-game winning streak and ends the Cru’s season at 16-4. The Wildcats improve to 11-4 on the year and advance to Monday’s ASC Championship Game with the victory.
The Wildcats built a 47-31 lead with 15:22 left in the game before UMHB erupted to get back into the game. The Cru used a 22-6 run to tie the game on Ty Prince’s basket with 9:41 left to play. The two teams traded three-pointers before Carson Hammond buried a three to give UMHB a 59-56 lead with 8:48 to go. Louisiana College would answer with an 8-0 run of its own to open up a five-point advantage. Gibson Hearne drilled a three-pointer with 4:24 on the clock to get the Cru back to within two points, but the Wildcats were able to pull away with some easy baskets and clutch free throws down the stretch to get the victory.
The two teams traded the lead through most of the early going of the first half before LC started to heat up from three-point range and opened up a 35-26 halftime lead. The Wildcats added a 7-0 run to open the second half to stretch the lead into double figures. K.J. Bilbo had 20 points in the opening half for LC and UMHB shot just 31 percent as a team in the opening 20 minutes. The Cru also hit just 2-16 from beyond the arc in the half while the Wildcats were 7-19 from long range.
Prince led UMHB with 22 points on 7-11 shooting from the field. Josiah Johnson added 20 points and Hearne chipped in 16 points. Aedan Welch pulled down a team-high 12 rebounds. The Cru shot 39 percent from the floor as a team and finished 11-35 on three-pointers. UMHB committed 14 turnovers and LC converted those into 18 points.
Bilbo finished with a game-high 33 points for the Wildcats and he went 7-14 on three’s. Kae’Ron Baker added 26 points and Galen Smith scored 13. Smith and Bilbo had seven rebounds apiece as LC out rebounded UMHB 32-31 on the day. Louisiana College shot 64 percent as a team in the second half and 54 percent for the game. The Wildcats also went 12-28 on three-pointers.
The game also closed out the UMHB career of lone senior Aedan Welch. Byrale Carter and Darius Musa were also seniors but have already decided to return with the NCAA granting an extra season of eligibility due to the COVID-19 pandemic this school year.