The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor men’s basketball team had two chances to tie the game in the final seconds, but was just off the mark both times as the Cru fell to U.T. Tyler 76-73 Thursday night in Tyler. The loss snaps UMHB’s six-game winning streak and drops UMHB to 8-4 overall and 1-2 in American Southwest Conference play on the season. The Patriots improve to 8-5 overall and 4-3 in the ASC on the year with the win.
U.T. Tyler opened up a ten-point lead at 60-50 with 12:09 remaining in the game. The Cru used a 9-0 run to pull to within one point and tied the game at 73 on a pair of Ryan Lang free throws with 45 seconds left to play. The Patriots hit two free throws to grab a 75-73 lead with 24 seconds to go. Demarius Cress had a good look at layup to tie with 14 seconds to go but his shot was off the mark after contact in the lane. U.T. Tyler added a free throw to make it 76-73 and fouled Cress after he grabbed the rebound with three seconds on the clock. Cress intentionally missed the first free throw, but grabbed his own rebound and fired up a potential game-tying three-pointer, but the shot rimmed out at the buzzer as the Patriots held on for the win.
Braden Hammond led UMHB with 21 points and he hit 5-10 from three-point range. Cress added 15 points and Daniel Mills chipped in 14 off the bench. Aubrie King and Austen Stolte pulled down seven rebounds apiece for the Cru. UMHB shot 48 percent from the field and went 7-8 from the free throw line. Meanwhile, the Patriots shot 17 free throws and made 15 of them. The Cru out rebounded the Patriots 33-27 in the game.
Melvin Anthony and Skyler Hadden topped U.T. Tyler with 14 points apiece. Josh Tatum and Tyler Jacobs scored 10 points each. Hadden also had a team-best seven rebounds. The Patriots shot 44 percent as a team but went just 5-27 from long range in the contest.
The Cru returns to action with a 3:00 PM start at LeTourneau University Saturday in Longview. UMHB will then return home to host East Texas Baptist on Wednesday night at the Mayborn Campus Center.