Baehl and Igbinosa Lead 'Roos Past Howard Payne

SHERMAN, Texas – The Austin College men's basketball got 24 points from Brian Baehl and a double-double from Stephen Igbinosa and the 'Roos used a big second half to top Howard Payne 68-62 on Thursday night. The 'Roos improve to 2-0 this season with the win.

It was a sluggish start for both teams, as the game stayed scoreless for more than three minutes until Howard Payne’s Khyce Randall knocked down two free throws with 16:40 left in the opening half. Baehl’s jumper with 10:05 on the clock put Austin College up 8-6, but the Jackets pushed back into the lead with a three from Volney Willis to make it 14-12 with 7:12 before the break.

Six quick points for Alan Sullivan made it 18-17 in favor of the ‘Roos with 2:50 left, and the teams traded baskets and exchanged the lead three more times before Howard Payne took the momentum heading into halftime with a three pointer from Evan Vaden just before the buzzer to give the Jackets a 25-20 lead.

A three point play for Baehl got things started in the second half, and six straight points from Igbinosa put Austin College ahead 35-34 with 13:52 left to play. Two free throws from Igbinosa and a three pointer from the 6-foot-8 center pushed the ‘Roo lead to 42-38 with 11:03 on the clock.

Howard Payne led 52-51 with 7:21 to play, but a 14-4 run by Austin College over the next six minutes made it a 65-56 ‘Roo lead with 1:05 left to play. Randall buried a three pointer with 17 seconds left to cut it to a 66-62 game, but Baehl would knock down a pair of free throws to seal the victory for Austin College.

Baehl hit 8-of-14 shots and 8-of-13 free throws to get his 24, adding seven rebounds and two assists. Igbinosa hit 6-of-10 from the field to finish with 16 points and 10 rebounds, and added a pair of blocked shots. Sullivan finished with 10 points and five boards, and Austin Freet had nine rebounds, four steals, and three assists. After an ice-cold first half, Austin College shot 58.3% from the field in the second half to surge past the Jackets.

Randall led Howard Payne with 23 points, adding five rebounds and three assists as the only Jackets player to reach double figures. J Bailey grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds for Howard Payne.

Austin College heads on the road for the SAA/SCAC Challenge this weekend, where they’ll face Hendrix College and Millsaps College in Shreveport.

Austin College athletic teams participate as a member of the NCAA Division III and the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference.