The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor men’s basketball team only led three times in the game, but the Cru held the advantage when it mattered most in a 78-77 victory over Schreiner University Tuesday night in Belton. UMHB improves to 3-0 on the year with the win. The loss drops the Mountaineers to 0-3 on the season.
Schreiner’s hot first-half shooting allowed the Mountaineers to dominate the opening 20 minutes. UMHB scored the game’s opening bucket but Schreiner took control from there, opening up a 31-14 lead with 5:05 left in the half. The Mountaineers led 44-31 at the break. The Cru opened the second half with a 20-10 run to close to within three, but Schreiner was able to stretch it back to a nine-point lead at 66-57 with 8:26 remaining. UMHB was finally able to close to within two after Demarius Cress hit three free throws with 2:35 left. Cress hit a jumper 31 seconds later to tie the game at 75 and a LaKendric Hyson free-throw gave the Cru its second lead of the game with 1:40 to play.Josh Bashford’s jumper put Schreiner up 77-76 with 1:15 on the clock, but Hyson answered with a jumper of his own 17 seconds later to make it 78-77 UMHB. The Cru rebounded a Schreiner miss at the other end and ran the clock down before a UMHB miss gave the Mountaineers one final chance. Bashford’s off-balance three was off the mark at the final buzzer as the Cru held on for the victory.
Hyson led UMHB with 18 points and he added six rebounds and four blocked shots. Cress finished with 16 points and Justin Gammill added 16 points and ten rebounds for his second double-double in the first three games of the season. The Cru shot 58 percent from the field in the second half and finished at 47 percent for the game. UMHB was 18-23 from the line but hit just 6-23 from beyond the arc.
Keenan Gumbs poured in 28 points to lead Schreiner and Blake Kelley added 19 points and eight rebounds. Bashford pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds. Schreiner was 7-11 from three-point range in the first half, but went just 4-12 in the second half. The Mountaineers were 6-11 from the free-throw line and shot 44 percent from the floor overall. Schreiner out rebounded the Cru 45-30, but committed 14 turnovers compared to just seven for UMHB.
The Cru men will close out their home stand with a non-conference game against Trinity University this Saturday. The start time for that game will be 5:00 PM to help avoid a conflict with UMHB’s home football playoff game.