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Semifinal Bound: UMHB women’s basketball defeats Concordia (TX) behind big 4th quarter in ASC Tournament

Photo by Luke Zayas/True To The Cru

BELTON- The UMHB women’s basketball team led for 26 minutes, 30 seconds, of Tuesday night’s ASC Tournament quarterfinal. But Concordia never let the Cru get too comfortable in front. 

“We knew it was going to be a game of runs,” UMHB interim head coach Kendra Foreman remarked following the 78-64 win for her team. 

Every time the Cru pulled away, the Tornadoes found a method of response; at times it was the offensive attack, spearheaded by Madi Maxwell and Chelsea Cogburn, on other occasions it was Concordia’s defensive effort. In total, it made for a full 40-minute battle in Belton. 

Twice UMHB gained a double-digit lead, but Concordia’s three-point shooting put the Tornadoes back within single digits. It was not until the final four minutes that the Crusaders put the game away for good, mounting a 20-5 run that gave them the 14-point win. 

“You know what I’m going to say: defense,” Foreman said postgame when asked about the key to the fourth quarter scoring spurt. “We sat down and played some defense and got a lot of stops. We had them in the bonus early [where their number of team fouls exceeded five], so that helped too.” 

It did. With UMHB getting to the free throw line on every Concordia foul for the final five minutes or so, the Crusaders took eight free throws in the fourth quarter, matching their overall total from the previous three periods of play. They made seven of those, including four in the final minute of the win. 

The victory moves UMHB into a rematch with East Texas Baptist in the conference tournament semifinals on Friday night in Abilene. ETBU went 2-0 against the Cru during the regular season, but as Foreman noted postgame, anything is possible come tournament time. 

“We have to know the game plan and know the shooters,” Foreman said. “We have to know what we’re doing. Then we can be successful in that.” 

The key first half run for the Crusaders came in the opening minutes of the second quarter, as UMHB erased Concordia’s 20-18 lead, scoring 14 of the game’s next 18 points for a 32-24 advantage. Ashley Faux scored on back-to-back possessions for UMHB early in that run, giving the Cru a 26-24 on her fast-break layup mere seconds after tying the score at 24 on an offensive rebound-turned-reverse layup. 

“Coach Kendra and I have talked about letting my defense and rebounds generate that offense,” Faux, who finished with 16 points and 13 rebounds, said postgame. “That has really been working for me. And getting in the gym, getting up extra shots, has been working as well.” 

The defensive intensity was elevated on the part of UMHB as the Cru gained a comfortable eight-point lead. Maxwell, who was terrific offensively for Concordia in the first quarter with 11 of their 20 points, was held to a single point in the second. But still, the Tornadoes did not go away, with a 10-0 run that regained the advantage on a three-pointer from Jordan Bravo. By halftime, UMHB led 37-34. 

Almost as if fixed along the same pattern, the Cru opened the third by racing out to a 10-point lead, with Jaycie Brisco converting on a jumper that made it 46-36. But the Tornadoes answered with a 9-0 run, cutting the deficit back to a single point on the first of Mikayla Johnson’s two three-pointers on the night. 

By the 7:12 mark of the final quarter, Concordia found itself back in front, leading 57-56. The lead changed hands three more times before Arieona Rosborough’s layup gave UMHB a 60-59 advantage. It was a lead the Crusaders did not let go of. They forced seven turnovers in the fourth, leading to nine points. Generating the takeaways were key, but so was turning those empty Concordia possessions into points. The Tornadoes turned the ball over a total of 24 times in the contest. 

“The easy buckets are what we want,” Foreman said. “We don’t want to have to come down [the floor] and run a play. We want to get easy buckets and layups at the rim off of our steals.” 

The rebounding advantage certainly proved key down the stretch as well for UMHB. Not only did the Cru pull down 13 more rebounds than the opposition, but they also had 23 offensive boards, which created 17 second-chance points. Meanwhile, Concordia had just four offensive rebounds, scoring a mere three second-chance points. 

“That is something we’ve really emphasized in practice,” Faux noted. “We know we have the height and practice it all the time. If we can continue to get in there, and get those offensive rebounds, giving ourselves some second-chances, we’ll be good to go for the rest of this tournament.”

The tournament run resumes three days from Tuesday night, and while there is no lack of pressure on the Cru, whose NCAA Tournament hopes likely rest on a strong showing in this week’s contests, Faux said her approach is to not change much at all. The only player still on the roster from the 2020-21 ASC title team, the junior has experience in these types of situations. 

“This is my third year playing in the ASC Tournament, so I just try to approach it like any other game,” Faux told True To The Cru. “We know how ETBU plays, and we’re ready to play them. I think it’ll be a good matchup. I’m excited.” 

Friday’s contest tips off at 5:00 p.m. from Abilene. Follow True To The Cru at @TrueToTheCru on Twitter for more updates. 

Box Score1st2nd3rd4thFinal
Concordia (TX)2014181264

UMHB stat leaders

Points: Arieona Rosborough (24), Ashley Faux (16), Lauren Baker (10)

Rebounds: Ashley Faux (13), Jaycie Brisco (7), Arieona Rosborough (7), Aja Holmes (7)

Assists: Lauren Baker (4), Payton Hicks (3), Arieona Rosborough (3)

Riley Zayas
Riley Zayas founded True To The Cru in November of 2020 with the goal to cover the stories behind the score and give UMHB fans a closer look at the Cru while promoting the student-athletes and coaches that wear the purple and gold every day. He is also a national contributor to and, in addition to serving as a D3 women's basketball Top 25 voter. His byline has also been seen in: Sports Illustrated Kids, Horns Illustrated, College Baseball Nation, and FCA Williamson County. Follow him on Twitter @ZayasRiley.

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