UMHB men's basketball edges MSOE 81-79

Posted at 9:27 PM, Dec 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-29 22:27:28-05

The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor men’s basketball team trailed for the first 34 minutes of the game and never led by more than five points, but the Cru had the edge when it mattered in an 81-79 victory over Milwaukee School of Engineering Friday evening in Belton. The victory came in the final game of the Cru Classic and moved UMHB to 9-4 on the season. The loss drops the Raiders to 6-5 on the year.

MSOE scored the game’s first six points and jumped out to a 26-14 lead with 7:42 left in the first half. The Cru battled back to within one at 28-27 with 3:32 to go in the half and the Raiders led 36-32 at halftime. MSOE took the lead back out to 12 points at 51-39 with 15:07 on the clock, but UMHB chipped away and tied the game at 56-56 on a LaKendric Hyson jumper with 8:52 remaining. Brian Long’s basket and free throw gave the Cru its first lead of the game at 64-62 with six minutes left to play. UMHB took its biggest lead of the game at 78-73 with 1:05 to go, but the Raiders pulled to within 80-79 on Jason Palesse’s basket with 11 seconds on the clock. Sam Moore hit a free throw for the Cru to make it 81-79 and Matthew Kirmse’s desperation three-pointer at the buzzer was off the mark as UMHB held on for the victory.

Hyson topped the Cru with 16 points and five rebounds. Long and Demarius Cress added 15 points apiece. Cress also recorded nine assists and Moore scored 14 points. UMHB shot 64 percent as a team in the second half and finished at 47 percent for the game. The Cru also went 4-4 from three-point range in the final 20 minutes after going 2-14 from beyond the arc in the first half. UMHB hit 19-27 from the free-throw line in the victory, including several clutch shots down the stretch.

Kirmse led all players with 22 points and 13 rebounds for the Raiders. Tegan Miles had 16 points and nine boards and Palesse scored 13 points and dished off seven assists. MSOE shot 46 percent from the field and went 10-30 from three-point range. The Raiders out rebounded UMHB 44-31, but MSOE hit just 9-14 from the stripe in the loss.

The UMHB men will continue their home stand with a return to American Southwest Conference play next week. The Cru will host Louisiana College for a 7:30 PM tip-off next Thursday. UMHB will close out the week with a 4:00 PM start against Belhaven University next Saturday.