FORT SMITH- A late rally by UAFS fell just short against Dallas Baptist on Saturday afternoon as the Lions lost 101-91 to the Patriots in Heartland Conference play at The Burg Center in Dallas.
The Patriots (17-7, 9-2) swept the regular-season series against the Lions (9-14, 3-8), who lost to the Patriots 97-89 on Jan. 19 at the Stubblefield Center.
Dallas Baptist remained in second place, one game behind conference leader and No. 2 nationally-ranked St. Edward’s (21-2, 10-1), who beat the Newman Jets at Fugate Gymnasium in Wichita, Kan., on Saturday.
UAFS remained tied for eighth place in the conference with four regular-season games remaining.
The Lions trailed by 23 points at halftime (53-30) and twice fell behind by 24 points in the first two minutes of the second half – the last time on a layup by Patriots guard Jordan Manse that made it 60-36.
UAFS rallied and cut its deficit to eight points (97-89) on a pair of free throws by guard Kei’shon Parker with 55 seconds left. The Lions had a chance to cut their deficit to five points with 46 seconds left, but Parker’s 3-point try was blocked by Patriots forward Jonathyn Washington.
A layup by Patriots guard Conner Lidiak with 31 seconds left pushed Dallas Baptist’s lead back to 10 points with 31 seconds left, and guard Chris Crawford missed a 3-pointer with 21 seconds that would have cut the Lions’ deficit to single digits.
Dallas Baptist sealed its win with a pair of free throws by guard Carson Hughes with 19 seconds left to make it a 12-point game. Crawford made a jumper with 12 seconds left to cut the final margin to 10 points.
UAFS shot 43 percent from the field (30 of 70) – it was 11-of-32 shooting from 3-point range – and shot a season-best 95 percent from the free-throw line (20 of 21). Forward David Ward and guard Tyler Williams each scored a team-high 20 points, while Crawford had 15 and Parker and guard JonDarius Warren each had 10.
Junior Seth Hawley had a team-high four rebounds to lead a balanced UAFS rebounding effort, but still, the Lions were out-rebounded by six rebounds (30-24).
Dallas Baptist shot a sizzling 65 percent from the field (33 of 51) – it was 8-of-15 shooting from 3-point range – and shot 93 percent from the free-throw line (27 of 29). Guard Chandler Jacobs led the Patriots with 33 points, while forward JT Harris had 16, guard Carter Brown 12 and Washington 10.
Jacobs also had a team-high seven rebounds.
UAFS will return to action on Saturday at 3 p.m. against St. Edward’s at the Recreation and Convocation Center in Austin, Texas.
DALLAS BAPTIST 101, UAFS 91
UAFS 30 61 — 91
Dallas Baptist 53 48 — 101
UAFS (9-14, 3-8): Ward 20, Williams 20, Crawford 15, Warren 10, Parker 10, Hawley 7, Bowie 5, Ekezie 4
Dallas Baptist (17-7, 9-2): Jacobs 33, Harris 16, Brown 12, Washington 10, Hughes 9, Miranda 7, Manse 6, White 4, Lidiak 4
Story/Photo: UAFS Sports Information