BELTON, Texas — The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor women’s basketball team overcame an early case of the jitters to stifle Louisiana College in the second quarter and the Cru never looked back in a 76-54 victory over the Wildcats Thursday night in Belton. UMHB advances to the Semifinals of the American Southwest Conference Championship Tournament and improves to 24-2 on the season with the victory. The loss ends Louisiana College’s season at 11-14. 


The Cru led 19-13 after an opening period that saw two ties and three lead changes as UMHB played an ASC Tournament game on its home floor for the first time in program history. The Cru settled down in the second period and held the Wildcats to just four points on 1-17 shooting from the floor. LC pulled to within 20-16 1:30 into the quarter before UMHB went on an 18-1 run to close the period, highlighted by eight quick points from D’Ashiah Williams. The Cru led 38-17 at the half and took the lead out to as many as 29 points in the third quarter. UMHB extended that advantage to 32 points in the early going of the fourth and cruised to the win.


Kendall Rollins hit 3-5 from three-point range and 7-11 overall to lead the Cru with 20 points. She added a team-high nine rebounds. Williams added a career-high 16 points on 7-7 shooting from the field and Hannah Holt chipped in with 13 points. UMHB shot 69 percent as a team in the second quarter and finished at 45 percent for the game. The Cru out rebounded the Wildcats 46-40 and forced 16 turnovers.


Jayla Landrum had a big game for Louisiana College with 21 points and a game-high 13 rebounds. Shardae Melancon scored 10 points, but only two other players scored more than five points on the night. The Wildcats shot just 33 percent from the field as a team in the loss.


UMHB will now face East Texas Baptist in a 7:30 pm semifinal game on Friday. The Tigers advanced with a 45-43 win over Howard Payne University on Thursday. Friday’s semifinal will be a rematch of last year’s ASC Tournament Championship Game that saw ETBU edge the Cru 71-70.