RICHARDSON, Texas — Hardin-Simmons’ men’s basketball team advanced to the American Southwest Conference Championship game with a 93-83 win over Louisiana College on Saturday after at the UTD Activities Center in Richardson.
The Cowboys are looking for their first ASC title in men’s basketball. It is the third appearance in the ASC final. HSU lost to Mississippi College in 2007 and to McMurry in 2012.
Both teams were hot in the early going and LC led 13-11 with 15:46 to play in the first half. The Wildcats then used an 8-0 run to push the lead out 23-13 with 12:24 to play in the half. The Cowboys settled in and retook the lead at 33-32 with 4:23 to play on a Cameron Barnes steal and layup.
Barnes was just getting started as he and Justin Jones combined for the next nine points. Barnes had 13 points and Jones eight in the half off the bench and HSU took a 45-38 halftime lead.
HSU quickly pushed the lead to 53-38 with 17:03 to play, but the Wildcats kept chipping away at the lead. Kevin Lewis’ 3-pointer with 10:29 to play cut the deficit to two at 61-59. HSU then went on a 8-1 run to push the lead back out.
LC had one more push in them and cut it to 77-74 with 5:11 to play, but ignited a 12-3 run with five straight points to finally put LC away.
HSU had five players in double figures. Derrick Jefferson, Cameron Barnes and Justin Jones each had 15 points. Titus Mims added 14 and John Barnes had 10 points. HSU had 37 points from its bench.
The Cowboys shot 54.4 percent in the game and outrebounded LC 40-29.
Kevin Lewis led the Wildcats with 25 points and nine assists. Doc Welch, who scored the first 11 points of the game for LC, finished with 16 as did Anthony Gaines.
The Cowboys are 19-8 on the year and will play Texas-Dallas in the final. The two teams split a pair of meetings this season. Louisiana College closed its season with a record of 12-14.