Editor’s Note: Above image of Josiah Johnson provided by the UMHB Athletics Department
TEMPLE, Texas- Everyone who has witnessed Josiah Johnson go to work knows that his scoring potential is limitless. But what took place at Temple College on Saturday was something extraordinary, as Johnson scored 53 points in the UMHB’s men’s basketball team’s 105-76 rout of Concordia (TX). The victory not only moved the Cru to a perfect 11-0 in ASC play, but also secured the program’s seventh ASC West Division title.
It was the second time UMHB had faced Concordia in three days, as the Cru pulled out an 85-74 win on Thursday evening in Belton. The contest, originally set to take place in Austin on Concordia’s campus, was moved to Temple College due to electrical issues at the Tornadoes’ facility.
To say Johnson dominated the game from start to finish would be an understatement. In fact, it is hard to put into words what the sophomore from Big Sandy, Texas accomplished, as he tied the school record for points in game. A look at his stat line might be able to put the performance into perspective, as he shot 21-of-30 from the field, four of those coming from three-point range. He played tremendous defense as well, tallying six steals.
The first of those 53 points came just 1:17 into the contest, as he knocked down a jumper to put the Cru up 4-0. He would score UMHB’s next 12 points as the Crusaders pretty much sealed up the game before it even reached the 15 minute mark, leading 16-0 with 16:55 on the clock. Concordia’s Luis Gonzalez would finally get a layup to fall 25 seconds later after the Cru defense forced the Tornadoes to miss their first seven shots.
UMHB hit a cold spot when it came to shooting several minutes later, as Concordia mounted a 6-0 run midway through the first half, cutting the deficit to just six, 22-16. However, a Ty Prince three countered that scoring run as UMHB went on a run of its own, scoring eight of the next 10 points. Concordia had no answer, and fell behind quickly, with a Prince layup extending the UMHB advantage to 54-35 as the opponents headed for the locker rooms at halftime. Johnson’s point total? 23.
10 minutes into the second half, Johnson had 36, as he put the ball in the basket in every way imaginable, scoring on fast breaks, open threes, and contested layups.
The Cru ran away with it, leading by 31 at one point, as Johnson knocked down a three to put UMHB over the 100-point mark.
Johnson only scored about half of UMHB’s points, as the rest of the team stepped up on offense. Prince posted a 20-point, eight-rebound, nine-assist performance, and freshman Gibson Hearne continues to emerge, as he tallied 12 points.
UMHB will look ahead to rematches against Sul Ross State and Howard Payne in Belton this coming week. Sul Ross faces the Cru at 7:30 p.m. CT on Thursday and Howard Payne battles head coach Clif Carroll’s team in the regular season finale on Saturday at 3:00 p.m. CT. UMHB also will host a quarterfinal game in the ASC tournament on March 10.