The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor men’s basketball team started strong and never let off as the Cru cruised to an 89-64 victory over McMurry University Thursday night in Belton. UMHB improves to 15-6 overall and 8-5 in American Southwest Conference play with the victory. The loss drops the War Hawks to 7-13 overall and 5-8 in the ASC on the year.
The Cru hit three of its first four three-point attempts and scored 29 of the game’s first 40 points to take control early. McMurry pulled back to within 11 points late in the first half, but UMHB stretched it back to a 44-29 advantage at halftime. Both teams were sluggish in a sloppy start to the second half, but the Cru took the lead out to 20 points at 56-36 with 12:45 remaining in the game. The War Hawks would not get closer than 12 points the rest of the way and the Cru’s largest lead of the night came at the final margin.
Brian Long topped UMHB with 26 points and nine rebounds. He was 8-11 from the field and 10-12 from the free-throw line. LaKendric Hyson added 20 points and eight boards off the bench. Demarius Cress scored 16 points and became the Cru’s career leader in three-pointers made, breaking Tim Lytle’s school mark with his 138th triple at the 7:09 mark of the first half. Shaq Martin also reached double figures with 11 points on 3-6 shooting from beyond the arc. UMHB shot 45 percent from the field and hit 24-30 from the free-throw line. The Cru also out rebounded the War Hawks 46-42 in the victory.
Aaron Gettys came off the bench to hit 6-9 shots and lead McMurry with 14 points. LaRandall Scroggins added 11 points, Mike Williams, Jr. chipped in 10 points and Luke Stephenson had nine points and a team-high nine rebounds. The War Hawks shot 36 percent from the field and were just 5-21 from three-point range while shooting 53 percent from the free-throw line.
UMHB will close out its five-game home stand with a 4:00 PM tip-off against Hardin-Simmons University on Saturday. The Cru will then hit the road for the final three games of the regular season.