For the first time in UMHB’s history, the women’s basketball team is headed to the NCAA Divion III tournament. The Crusaders will face Rhodes College on March 1 with the time to be determined.
The Cru had a spectacular year, finishing the season with a 23-2 record. Rhodes College finished their regular season with a 14-11 record and won all three games in their conference championship.
This impressive record carried the Cru to the postseason this weekend, where they hosted the American Southwest Conference championship tournament. The Cru entered the three-game tournament with high hopes of winning. The Cru’s first game of the tournament was on Thursday, Feb. 21 against Louisiana College. The Cru started the game off strong, and held the lead at the end of the first quarter with a score of 19-13.
The Cru was consistent, scoring exactly 19 points in each quarter. They ultimately defeated the Wildcats 76-54.
In the second game of the tournament on Friday, Feb. 22, the women played against East Texas Baptist University.
The Cru had a rough first quarter. In the first ten minutes of the game, the Tigers scored 23 points and shot 57 percent from the three-point line, while the Cru scored 13 points and only made 22 percent of their shots. At this point, things weren’t looking good for the Cru, but the defense stepped up to keep the Tigers from scoring.
In the second quarter, the Cru offense continued to struggle, scoring only 13 points, but the defense held the Tigers to just eight points, keeping the Crusaders in the game. After a hard-fought battle, the Cru edged out the Tigers to win the game 64-62.
The final game of the tournament was on Saturday, Feb. 23 against the UT Dallas Comets. The Cru’s offense struggled in this game as well, scoring only 10 points and shooting 18 percent from the field in the first quarter.
They also struggled in the rebound column. The Comets out-rebounded the Cru 47-30. The second quarter was different than the previous game in the sense that the offense stepped up instead of the defense.
The teams virtually swapped score columns from the previous quarter. The Cru scored 16 points while the Comets only scored 10. Although the offense fought hard, UMHB was ultimately defeated by the Comets 63-58.
Although the team did not win the ASC championship tournament, their regular season record was good enough to carry them into the NCAA National Championship bracket.
If the Cru defeats Rhodes College, they will still have a long road ahead of them. The Crusaders will have to beat four playoff-caliber teams. It can be done, but it will be difficult. The game will be held at a neutral site in Richardson, which is just south of Plano.
This is a two-and-a-half hour commute. If you are unable to attend the game, it will be live-streamed.
Get some friends together, watch the livestream and cheer on your Crusader women’s basketball team.