BELTON, Texas — The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor men’s basketball team roared back from a double-digit second-half deficit and iced the game with clutch free throws as the Cru topped Hardin-Simmons 84-78 Thursday night in Belton. UMHB improves to 11-4 overall and 3-3 in American Southwest Conference play and snaps a three-game losing skid with the victory. The loss drops the Cowboys to 5-10 overall and 1-5 in ASC play on the season.
The Cru trailed 59-47 with 14:02 left to play before storming back into the game. Salomon Smith capped a 16-0 run with a fast break lay-in to give UMHB a 63-59 lead with 9:12 remaining. HSU closed to within one at 67-66 with 6:25 on the clock, but Joseph Mitchell answered with another layup to start a 6-0 run as the Cru stretched it back to a seven-point advantage. The Cowboys never got closer than three points the rest of the way as UMHB held on for the victory. UMHB opened up a double-digit first-half lead before HSU used a 16-0 run to grab the lead. The Cowboys were up 42-40 at halftime.
The win was collegiate head coaching victory #800 for UMHB’s Ken DeWeese. He won the first 404 of those games at McLennan Community College and has 396 victories in his long and successful stint with the Cru.
Smith led UMHB with 22 points and 12 rebounds. Casey Armour added 20 points and 12 boards for the Cru. Logan Hicks scored 13 and Devyn Brewton chipped in 11 off the bench on the night. UMHB shot 44 percent from the field and finished 21-31 from the free-throw line. The Cru out rebounded HSU 51-38 and hit 7-23 from long range.
Steven Quinn had a huge night for the Cowboys, sparking the first half run and finishing with a game-high 29 points. Chase Cobb added 10 points and Chris Barrett had 10 assists. HSU hit 40 percent from the field as a team and went 10-34 from outside the arc.
The UMHB men will close out the two-game home stand on Saturday. The Cru welcomes McMurry University to the Mayborn Campus Center for a 3 pm tip-off that day.