College Sports Houston Sports

Huskies hold off Cardinals.

The Houston Baptist Huskies takes on The Lamar Cardinals in the Sharpe gym to kick of Southland conference basketball.

Huskies hold off Cardinals in OT thriller, starts 1-0 in conference.

Houston, Texas- It’s conference time! The HBU Huskies(4-7) takes on visiting Lamar Cardinals(7-6) on a rainy and wet Wednesday. Both teams look to start hot in conference play, especially the Huskies who finished last season 2-16 in conference play. Lead by sophomore Ian Dubose, who’s averaging 18.1 ppg, the Huskies have the player to help with culture change and potentially make a postseason run. The run starts now. Let’s get some South Land Conference action.

Photo: Juan DeLeon
©Juan DeLeon Studio

The first half of regulation for the Huskies looked promising. Good flow and control helped tremendously to gain the lead. Huskies caused a lot of frustration for the Cardinals while allowing their best offensive players to get in rhythm and score points. Phillip McKenzie and Dubose combined for 18 of the 38 first half points along with 8 rebounds. Another key factor for the Huskies early on was the amount of help HBU got from their rotation. Out of the 9 players that saw floor action, 8 scored, compared to 7 of the 11 players for Lamar. The first half effort for the Huskies was strong and the energy was needed in order to contain a Lamar team; that’s averaging 58 points in the second half in their last 3 games, and can get hot from the floor.

The second half, where drama meets basketball. Some questionable calls lead to frustration from both programs, all while the Lamar Cardinals slowly closed in on that Huskie lead. A back and forth battle brewed between the two teams, and it was exciting! Lamar stayed in the fight and cut the lead down to one, 74-73, with 30 seconds left in the game. With the game on the line, T.J. Atwood knocked down 1 of 2 free throws to tie the game at 74. Huskies miss at the buzzer and the games heads to overtime. Perfect way to start conference play.

©Juan DeLeon Studio

The Huskies went into OT with a mission. Win the game! And that is exactly what happened. Final score 88-82, Houston Baptist. Fueled by a big 14 to 8 run in overtime, the Huskies locked in on both the offensive and defensive end. A great way to start the new year. The hard fought performance propelled HBU in an overtime win over Lamar, and the Huskies held off the Cardinals to start 1-0 in conference play. Not only a big win for conference standings but a huge home win. The crowd was fully invested and involved this evening which featured a young girl screamed to the top of her lungs every Lamar free throw. Lead by a 33 point performance from Ian Dubose, the Huskies did not quit when adversity hit them at the most inopportune time.

When asked about his performance and what it means to get the win, Dubose responded ” It feel great for sure. The goal for everybody is to get a conference win every single game and tonight we fought hard and got the win, which we really earn and its a great start.” He also stated that his personal goals for this year is to “lead a team and do whatever the team for me to do in the game” He realizes they have a lot of young guys, and has taken the responsibility as a sophomore to step and make the necessary plays.

HBU did not shoot behind the arc as successfully as they would hope, shooting 6-20 from the court. They also allowed 48 points in the paint, but held the lead for 42:05 minutes while out-rebounding Lamar University 38-36. Closing out half’s must also be an emphasis for the team moving forward and knocking down free throws, shooting 68 percent from the stripe.

The HBU Huskies travel to New Orleans to take on the 5-7 New Orleans University Privateers this Saturday.

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