The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor men's basketball team rallied from a 15-point halftime deficit to make it a game, but the Cru could never completely close the gap in a 97-86 loss to LeTourneau University Thursday night in Longview. UMHB falls to 4-2 overall and 0-1 in American Southwest Conference play with the loss. The Yellowjackets move to 5-1 overall and 1-0 in ASC play with the victory.
The Cru took a 16-14 lead early in the first half, but LeTourneau scored the next ten points and would take the first double-digit lead of the game at 29-17 with 7:20 remaining in the half. UMHB would not get closer than nine points the rest of the period and the Yellowjackets led 52-37 at the break. That lead grew to 18 points early in the second half before the Cru started to chip away. UMHB pulled to within nine points on several occasions before LeTourneau pushed the lead back out to 83-66 with 6:45 left to play. The Cru again battled back and closed to within seven points on four occasions in the final two minutes. The Yellowjackets were able to answer each time and eventually iced the game with key free-throws in the final minute.
LaKendric Hyson led UMHB with 24 points and Demarius Cress chipped in 23 more. Aedan Welch grabbed a team-best eight rebounds and Justin Gammill had eight points and seven boards. The Cru shot 54 percent from the field in the second half and finished at 44 percent for the game. UMHB was 16-24 from the free-throw line and hit just 6-21 from beyond the arc.
Alec Colhoff led LeTourneau with 21 points as he hit 4-11 from three-point range. Justin Moore had 19 points and a game-high ten rebounds and three other Yellowjackets also reached double figures in scoring. LeTourneau shot 42 percent from the floor as a team, but out rebounded the Cru 51-39. The Yellowjackets also went 22-26 from the stripe in the victory.
UMHB closes out this road trip with a 4:00 PM tip-off on Saturday at East Texas Baptist in Marshall. The Cru returns home to host U.T.-Dallas and Southwestern University next week.