• Dennis McCaslin

UAFS Lions drop two games in three-day swing through the Lone Star State

UAFS enjoyed a one-point, halftime lead against Dallas Baptist on Saturday afternoon, but the nationally-ranked Lions couldn't hold off the hot-shooting Patriots down the stretch. Dallas Baptist shot 50 percent from the field to spark its comeback and beat UAFS 76-60 in Heartland Conference play at The Burg Center in Dallas. On paper, it was arguably the Lions' toughest road trip of the season going into the two-game, three-day swing through the Lone Star State, and it proved to be true. UAFS (14-3, 3-3), which is ranked No. 13 in the latest D2SIDA Top 25 and No. 14 in the latest NABC Division II Top 25, lost at St. Edward's on Thursday before losing to Dallas Baptist (14-2, 4-1), which is ranked No. 23 in the latest NABC Division II Top 25. Dallas Baptist remained atop the conference standings with the win, while UAFS slipped into a third-place tie with St. Edward's (13-5, 3-3), which lost to Rogers State on Saturday afternoon. Newman (7-9, 3-2) and Rogers State (12-5, 3-2) are tied for second place. UAFS, which led 35-34 at halftime, shot only 35 percent from the field (20 of 58) – it was 6-of-27 shooting from 3-point range – and shot just 61 percent from the free-throw line (14 of 23). Freshman forward Adam Rivera accounted for three of the Lions' six 3-pointers and scored a team-high 19 points. Senior guard Ladarious Coleman had 11 points to round out the Lions' double-figure scoring. Still, UAFS out-rebounded Dallas Baptist by eight rebounds (30-22) and collected 12 offensive rebounds that led to 12 second-chance points. Rivera and Coleman each had a team-high seven rebounds to lead the Lions. Dallas Baptist forced 19 UAFS turnovers that led to 15 points for the Patriots. Dallas Baptist made 22 of its 44 shots from the field – it was 9-of-21 shooting from 3-point range – and shot 89 percent from the free-throw line (23 of 36). Senior guard Boy Van Vliet led the Patriots with 27 points, accounting for three of the Patriots' nine treys, and sophomore guard Conner Lidiak added 17 points, including four of the Patriots' three pointers. Freshman guard Chandler Jacobs had 13 points, and sophomore guard Carter Brown had 10 to round out the Patriots' double-figure scoring. Brown also had a team-high six rebounds. MEN NO. 23 DALLAS BAPTIST 76, NO. 13/14 UAFS 60 UAFS 35 25 -- 60 Dallas Baptist 34 42 -- 76 UAFS (14-3, 3-3): Rivera 19, Coleman 11, Thomas 9, Elder 5, Strong-Moore 5, Wallace 4, Crawford 3, Dandridge 2, Jolly 2 Dallas Baptist (14-2, 4-1): Van Vliet 27, Lidiak 17, Jacobs 13, Brown 10, Burke 7, Lord 2