Stephen F. Austin builds early lead and cruises past UIW, 81-70

UIW center Devin Wyatt beats the SFA defense for a dunk in the first half.

Forward Leon Gilmore III produced 22 points and 11 rebounds Saturday afternoon as Stephen F. Austin claimed an 81-70 victory at the University of the Incarnate Word.

UIW freshman guard Augustine Ene sparked a rally that cut what had been a 20-point SFA lead near the end of the first half to six with 12:17 remaining in the game.

But SFA just had too much firepower and sent UIW reeling to its 16th straight loss.

“The guys could have folded, and it could have been a 30- or 40-point loss,” UIW coach Ken Burmeister said. “But they came back in the second half and gave us great effort.

“We made some threes and Augustine gave us some open-play ball where he was going downhill.

“He picked up the pace. (But) their size just hurts us. Gilmore and (AJ) Holyfield hurt us pretty good.”

With the loss, hard-luck UIW fell to 5-19 overall and 0-14 in the Southland Conference. SFA improved to 22-5 and 11-3.

The Cardinals have already been eliminated from contention to play in the SLC postseason tournament.

“I give Incarnate Word all the credit for battling back the way they did in the second half,” SFA coach Kyle Keller said. “We got some frustration in us on the defensive end. They just attacked us on the bounce and had some shots go in.

“Whether it’s a double-figure win or close to it, you’ll take that on the road anytime.”

Kevon Harris scored 22 and Shannon Bogues added 19 for the Lumberjacks, who have won four straight and six of seven.

For UIW, Shawn Johnson had 23 points and eight rebounds. Sam Burmeister chipped in with a season-high 18 points.

UIW notebook

Sidelined and not in uniform for UIW were center Konstantin Kulikof and guard Jorden Kite.

Kulikov was held out because of a compliance issue, a school spokesman said.

Burmeister declined comment on Kulikov’s situation. The coach said that Kite has a wrist injury.

UIW has been without starting point guard Jalin Hart for the past 12 games.

Hart, who averaged 15.9 points per game in 2016-17, is out for the season because of academics.

SFA’s Aaron Augustin takes a charge to force a turnover late in the first half of Saturday’s game at UIW.

Texas A&M-Corpus Christi rallies past UIW, 56-51

UIWs Shawn Johnson splits the defense on a drive against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. (Soobum Im / The University of the Incarnate Word)

Texas A&M-Corpus Christi rallied in the final eight minutes Saturday afternoon to claim a 56-51 victory over the slumping University of the Incarnate Word Cardinals.

Trailing by three with 8:32 remaining at UIW’s Convocation Center, the Islanders surged behind Joe Kilgore and Deion Rhea down the stretch to win their fourth straight.

Kilgore and Kareem South each scored 11 points apiece for A&M-Corpus Christi (8-12, 5-5 Southland Conference).

UIW (5-15, 0-10) has lost 12 straight, its longest losing streak since it moved up to NCAA Division I and joined the SLC in 2013.

Shawn Johnson and Charles Brown III each produced 14 points for the Cardinals.

Johnson also had nine rebounds and two blocks, two assists and one steal while playing all 40 minutes.

Center Konstantin Kulikov had four blocks and seven rebounds in 20 minutes.

With eight games to play in the regular season, UIW hosts Southeastern Louisiana on Wednesday.

UIW forward Charles Brown III takes it strong to the basket against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. (Soobum Im / The University of the Incarnate Word)

UIW’s losing streak hits 10 as Houston Baptist wins, 102-86

The Houston Baptist Huskies broke a nine-game losing streak Wednesday night in a 102-86 victory over the slumping Incarnate Word Cardinals.

Playing at home, the Huskies got off to a hot offensive start behind guard Jalon Gates to build a 44-36 halftime lead.

Afterward, HBU was never seriously challenged in extending UIW’s losing streak to 10 games.

Forward Charles Brown III led the Cardinals with 22 points on 9 of 15 shooting. Shawn Johnson added 16 points and Cody Graham 14.

Not to be deterred, the Huskies got 23 points from Gates, a sophomore from Clemens, and 22 each from Braxton Bonds and David Caraher.

Will Gates Jr., Jalon’s older brother, scored 11.

HBU capitalized off of UIW’s mistakes, producing a 20-8 edge in points off turnovers.

The Huskies also dominated with a 27-10 advantage on second-chance points.

Records: UIW (5-13, 0-8), Houston Baptist (5-16, 1-7)

Coming up: UIW hosts New Orleans Saturday at 2 p.m.

Photo caption: Guards Will Gates Jr. (left) and Jalon Gates of Houston Baptist.