ABILENE, Texas – It was better late than never for the shots to start falling for the Louisiana College men's basketball team, who rallied in the final 12 minutes to stay in the postseason hunt by defeating the McMurry War Hawks 67-57 Saturday afternoon at Kimbrell Arena.
With the game tied 20-20 and getting late in the first half, McMurry tried to pull away with a 12-0 run to take a 32-20 lead with 2:30 left before halftime, but the Wildcats were able to slice that lead in half before going to the halftime locker room trailing 34-28.
Over the opening minutes of the second half, every time LC tried to cut into the deficit, the War Hawks would push the lead back up to nine points. But the Wildcats finally started to break through with 12:30 left in the game. Trailing 47-38, Kae'ron Baker hit a pair of free throws and stifling defense helped hold McMurry to just ten points the rest of the way as LC outscored the War Hawks 29-10 for the remainder of the contest and come out of Abilene with the win.
"We needed to have this win to start in the postseason race," said Louisiana College head coach Reni Mason. "I told the guys before the game that this was about them and how much they cared for each other. They willed themselves to the victory today."
Jr. G Kae'ron Baker took advantage of frequent trips to the free-throw line to finish the night with 24 points while also grabbing seven rebounds and three steals. Sr. G Denzel Austin hit four three-pointers on his way to 16 points. So. F K.D. Wallace rounded out the leading scorers with 11 points. So. F KJ Bilbo was one point shy of a double-double, finishing the game at nine points and 11 rebounds. LC finished the game shooting 30.3% from the field.
The Wildcats (12-9, 6-6 ASC) look to keep holding tight to that final spot in the ASC Championship Tournament from the Eastern Division on Thursday, going for the season sweep of the University of the Ozarks. LC defeated Ozarks 78-68 back on January 18th. Tip-off against the Eagles (6-15, 2-10 ASC) on Thursday is set for 7:30 P.M. in H.O. West Fieldhouse.
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