The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor men’s basketball team erased a six-point deficit with less than nine minutes to go and pulled away late in a 91-85 victory over Louisiana College Thursday night in Belton. The Cru improves to 10-4 overall and 3-3 in American Southwest Conference play with the victory. The loss drops the Wildcats to 2-8 overall and 0-5 in the ASC on the season.
UMHB trailed 73-67 with 8:56 remaining in the game and the Cru was down 76-71 with 6:37 to play. Justin Gammill and LaKendric Hyson hit baskets and Demarius Cress followed with a three-point play to give UMHB a 78-76 lead with 4:56 to go. Aubrie King buried three-pointers on back-to-back possessions to give the Cru an 84-77 advantage with 3:53 left on the clock. The Wildcats never got closer than three points the rest of the way as UMHB held on for its sixth win in the last seven games. The Cru led 47-46 after a first half that featured 12 lead changes and four ties.
Hyson topped UMHB with 20 points on 6-8 shooting from the field. Cress added 19 points and King had 15 on 5-7 shooting from three-point range. Gammill scored 12 points and grabbed a team-high eight rebounds and Sam Moore also reached double figures with 11 points for the Cru. UMHB shot 44 percent from the field as a team and hit 12-32 from beyond the arc. The Cru was 25-32 from the free-throw line and forced 17 LC turnovers in the victory.
Devon Washington had a monster game for the Wildcats, leading all players with 26 points and 16 rebounds. Taylan Grogan added 17 points off the bench before fouling out of the game. Lashard Powell chipped in 13 points and Timothy Stokes dished off 12 assists. LC shot 48 percent as a team, but hit just 39 percent from the field in the second half. The Wildcats were 8-24 from distance and went 13-17 from the stripe. Louisiana College did out rebound UMHB 41-36 with the two teams combining for 28 offensive rebounds in the game.
The Cru will close out its home stand with a 4:00 PM start against Belhaven University on Saturday. UMHB will then open ASC West Division play with games at Hardin-Simmons and McMurry next week in Abilene.