The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor men’s basketball team seized control of the game in the first half and then held off a late barrage of Hardin-Simmons three-pointers as the Cru topped the Cowboys 105-93 Saturday in Belton. UMHB improves to 16-6 overall and 9-5 in American Southwest Conference play with the victory. The loss drops HSU to 8-14 overall and 6-8 in the ASC on the season.
The Cowboys jumped out to a 17-11 lead early in the first half, but UMHB responded with a 38-16 run to build a 16-point lead with 3:44 remaining in the half. The Cru would take a 53-37 lead into halftime. The UMHB lead would grow to as many as 22 points in the second half before Hardin-Simmons started to heat up from long-range. The Cowboys would trade three-pointers for Cru free throws on three straight possessions and then used a Joe Hoeup jumper to cut the lead to 97-90 with 2:41 left to play. Sam Moore hit two free throws, but Caleb Spoon answered with a three-pointer to make it a six-point game with 2:09 on the clock. Brian Long came up with a big blocked shot on one end and a crucial offensive rebound at the other for UMHB. Long would add two free throws after an intentional foul was whistled on HSU with 52 seconds on the clock. The Cowboys would not score again as Braden Hammond and Long hit two more freebies apiece to stretch it out to the final margin.
Long led UMHB with 25 points on 8-9 shooting from the field and he also grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds. Sam Moore had a double-double off the bench with 23 points and 11 boards for the Cru. LaKendric Hyson added 20 points, Demarius Cress scored 14 and dished off eight assists and Shaq Martin also reached double figures with 10 points. UMHB shot 52 percent from the field as a team and dominated HSU on the boards with a 53-36 margin. The Cru was 10-25 from beyond the arc and 25-35 from the free-throw line.
Hoeup led all scorers with 31 points and he added 11 rebounds for the Cowboys. Spoon had 25 points, but was just 6-20 from the field. Keenan Holdman had 18 points in his first game back at UMHB since transferring to HSU in the fall and Chris Barrett added 12 points and seven assists. The Cowboys shot just 37 percent from the field in the first half and finished at 42 percent from the game. HSU was 14-35 from three-point range with ten of those makes coming in the second half.
The game closes out a five-game home stand for the Cru men. It was also the final home game for UMHB seniors Aubrie King, Justin Gammill and Hammond. UMHB will now hit the road for the final three games of the regular season. The Cru returns to action with a 4:00 PM tip-off at Concordia Texas next Saturday in Austin.