SAN ANTONIO — The Austin College women’s basketball team saw its season come to a close in the first round of the NCAA Division III Tournament with a 78-63 loss against the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor.
Ann Savage hit 7-of-14 shots, including 4-of-8 three-pointers, to finish with 21 points, eight rebounds and three steals to lead the ‘Roos (25-5, who were in the D-III Tournament for the first time since 1999. Ally Longaker added 12 points, and Sarah Gwin hit three treys on her way to 10 points. Austin College shot just 32.8 percent from the field while UMHB hit 47.4 percent of its shots.
Austin College grabbed a quick 5-4 lead but UMHB scored seven straight to make it 11-5 at the first media timeout and the Crusaders took a 22-16 lead after the first quarter.
The Crusaders shot 50 percent from the field in the frame while the ‘Roos knocked down just 5-of-15 field goal attempts. The ‘Roos came on strong to open the second quarter, using an 11-4 run capped off by a breakaway bucket by Natalie McCoy to take a 27-26 lead before UMHB responded with four quick points.
Savage knocked down a jumper and Sarah Gwin hit a free throw to tie the game at 30 but the Crusaders got the final basket of the half for a two-point lead at the break.
The ‘Roos went cold in the third quarter, scoring just one point in the first eight-plus minutes as UMHB built a 38-33 lead, and after a Longaker jumper with 1:43 left in the period, the Crusaders scored eight unanswered to push the margin to 46-33.
Longaker scored again and Kacie West knocked down a pair of free throws to cut it to 47-37 heading into the fourth.
Mary Hardin-Baylor opened the fourth quarter with a 8-1 run to extend its lead to 17 points and after another basket by Longaker the Crusaders scored again for a 57-40 advantage with 7:01 left to play.
Savage scored eight straight for the ‘Roos, including a pair of threes, and a Kacie West triple cut it to 63-51 with 3:39 remaining. Savage knocked down two more treys and added a pair of free throws to cut it to 70-59, and after a UMHB free throw, Gwin added a three of her own to make it 71-62 at the 1:09 mark.
However, that’s as close as the Roos could get. The Crusaders knocked down seven free throws in the final minute to hold off the comeback bid.