UMHB Press Release
By: Jon Wallin
ABILENE, Texas – The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor men’s basketball team used the same script that was so successfully in the first meeting as the Cru used a red-hot second half to top Hardin-Simmons 103-96 Saturday in Abilene. UMHB improves to 17-5 overall and 8-5 in American Southwest Conference play with the victory. The Cru also moves into a tie with Concordia for the West Division lead after the Tornados lost to McMurry on Saturday. The loss drops the Cowboys to 12-10 overall and 7-6 in the ASC on the year
Hardin-Simmons took a 41-40 lead early in the second half, but back-to-back baskets from Brian Long and ten quick points from Byrale Carter keyed a 26-6 run as UMHB opened up a 19-point lead. The Cru advantage would grow to 21 before HSU started to chip away on Joe Hoeup’s three-point shooting. The Cowboys closed to within four points twice in the final minute, but the Cru hit clutch free throw after clutch free throw to hold off the comeback bid. UMHB was 13-14 from the stripe over the final 1:39 as Hardin-Simmons was forced to foul on seemingly every Cru possession. UMHB fell behind 6-0 to open the game, but fought back and led 38-35 at halftime. The Cru was lights out from the field in the second half to help create that separation.
Long led UMHB with 27 points on 11-14 shooting from the field. Demarius Cress hit 4-7 from beyond the arc to finish with 21 and LaKendric Hyson had 20 points off the bench for the Cru. Carter scored 15 points, all of them in the second half and he combined with Cress for ten assists. UMHB shot 74 percent from the field as a team in the second half and hit 6-8 from three-point range in the final 20 minutes. The Cru shot 60 percent for the game and finished 26-32 from the free-throw line. UMHB also forced 16 turnovers and out rebounded HSU 32-26 in the victory.
Hoeup hit nine three-pointers and finished with 37 points for Hardin-Simmons, but had a costly miss with the Cowboys looking to pull to within two points with 28 seconds remaining. Jalen Terry added 17 points and Steven Quinn chipped in 14 points. Chris Barrett dished off 13 assists. The Cowboys shot 62 percent in the second half and hit 56 percent for the game. HSU also took 29 three’s and shot the ball 70 times from the field compared to 58 shot attempts for the Cru.
The UMHB men will now return home to host three straight games to close out the regular season. The home stand starts with a 3 pm start against Concordia Texas next Saturday in a match-up of the two teams tied for the ASC West Division lead.