The Austin College women’s basketball team held off a comeback bid and pulled away late, coasting to a 75-56 victory over Centenary College on Friday night to stay unbeaten in Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference play and take sole possession of first place in the league standings. The ‘Roos are now 10-4 overall and 4-0 in the SCAC.
The ‘Roos were sluggish coming out of the gate, as Centenary jumped out to a 7-0 lead less than three minutes into the first quarter. The ‘Roos got on the board with a three point play from Kendall Heitmeier, and took their first lead after an Olivia Cicci three and an Olivia Bailey basket made it 10-9 with 4:59 left in the opening quarter. The Ladies would tie the game at 10, but Meghan Lewis scored to make it 12-10 with 4:32 left and Austin College would lead for the rest of the game.
After finishing the first quarter with a 17-14 lead, Austin College scored the first eight points of the second and a three from Kali Vittallo made it 25-14 with 8:04 on the clock. The ‘Roos pushed their first half lead to as much as 19 on a Bryce Frank basket with 20 seconds left before halftime to make it 37-18, and the Ladies would score once more to make it 37-20 heading into the locker room.
Briana Edwards scored for Centenary to open up the second half, but a pair of three pointer from Caitlyn Collins helped push the Austin College lead to 49-22 with 5:01 left in the third quarter. Centenary finally got its offense going down the stretch in the third, but the ‘Roos answered every basket by the Ladies and took a 53-35 lead into the fourth quarter.
It was in the fourth quarter that Centenary started to chip away at Austin College’s lead, as the Ladies open the frame with a 10-0 run to cut it to a 53-45 game with 7:43 left in the game, but Vittallo swished a three from right in front of the Austin College bench to get the margin back to double-figures at 56-45 and Heitmeier scored eight quick points to extend Austin College’s lead to 65-49 with 3:58 left to play. The lead grew to 21 on a three from Cicci to make it 75-54 with just under a minute to play, and two Centenary free throws would make it a 19 point final margin.
Heitmeier finished with a season-high 17 points and added four assists in the win, and Bailey chipped in 12 points, six rebounds, and five steals. Frank added 10 points, six rebounds, and a career-high five assists in the win.
Jasmine Morris scored 14 points, Savanah Doty added 11, and Edwards chipped in 10 points for Centenary.
Austin College will look to extend its four-game winning streak tomorrow when the ‘Roos play host to Colorado College at 8:00 p.m. in Hughey Gym.
’Roo Men’s Hoops Falls to Centenary
SHERMAN, Texas – The Austin College men’s basketball team got out-rebounded 57-41 and Centenary made 28-of-34 free throws to hand the ‘Roos a 79-71 loss on Friday night in Hughey Gym. The ‘Roos fall to 10-4 overall this season, and 0-4 in Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference play.
Both teams got out to a slow start offensively, and it wasn’t until the 16:31 mark that Austin College got on the board with a bucket from Cedric Hudson to make it 4-2 with the Gents on top. The ‘Roos briefly took a 7-6 lead on an Alan Sullivan three but Centenary used a 10-2 run to make it 16-9 with 12:49 left in the first half.
Austin College fought back to tie things at 18 with 8:56 remaining, but Centenary knocked down a trio of three pointers to help the Gents push the lead to 32-21 with 5:32 left before halftime. The lead grew to as much as 12 when Brandon Campbell hit a three to make it 39-27, and the Gents would take a 40-30 lead into the break.
Centenary maintained their lead early in the second half and led 52-41 with 14:42 left to play but a three from Sullivan jump started a small run that saw the ‘Roos pull to within six at 54-48, and after Centenary pushed the margin back to double digits at 58-48, the ‘Roos slowly started chipping away and pulled to within one at 62-61 on a basket by Hudson with 3:52 left in the game.
However, that’s as close as Austin College would get, as Centenary would respond with a 9-0 run to make it a 71-61 game with 1:16 left, and the ‘Roos were unable to get the margin under eight, finishing with a Jeremy Swisher layup to make it a 79-71 final.
Brian Baehl scored 18 points and grabbed eight boards while handing out five assists to lead Austin College, and Swisher scored 13 points off the bench. Hudson and Stephen Igbinosa each scored 12 points, with Igbinosa adding eight rebounds and five blocked shots, while Sullivan finished with 10 points and eight boards.
Travion Kirkendoll scored 27 points to lead all scorers, adding nine rebounds for the Gents, and James Sapp posted a double-double with 18 points and 18 rebounds.
Austin College will be looking to bounce back tomorrow when they take on Colorado College at 6:00 p.m. in Hughey Gym.