The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor men's basketball team had a chance to close the gap in the final seconds, but a three-pointer was off the mark and Concordia was able to ice the game from the free-throw line in a 105-98 victory over the Cru Saturday in Austin. UMHB drops to 16-7 overall and 9-6 in American Southwest Conference play with the loss. The Tornados improve to 15-8 overall and move into a tie for second place in the ASC West Division with the Cru at 9-6 in league play.
UMHB shot 63 percent from the field in a high-scoring first half and led by as many as 13 points before settling for a 52-48 advantage going into halftime. The Cru would hold the lead deep into the second half before the Tornados used a 7-0 run to grab an 88-86 edge with 4:42 left in the game. UMHB tied the game on a pair of Demarius Cress free throws, but Concordia scored the next seven points for a 95-88 lead. Aubrie King's three-pointer pulled the Cru to within 103-98 with 27 seconds left and UMHB forced a turnover on the ensuing CTX possession. A Cru three that would have cut the lead to two was just off the mark and the Tornados iced the game from the free-throw line from that to salvage a split of the season series between the two teams.
King, Shaq Martin and LaKendric Hyson all scored 17 points for UMHB. Brian Long added 16 points and Cress finished with 14 for the Cru. UMHB shot 53 percent from the field for the game and went 8-26 from three-point range. The Cru hit 24-32 from the stripe and Martin, Braden Hammond and Sam Moore all had six rebounds apiece.
Ephriam Price III led all scorers with 34 points in his first game in two weeks for the Tornados. He hit 6-11 from beyond the arc and was 11-16 overall in the contest. Joshua Samuels added 20 points Ben Page added 18 points and a game-high 16 rebounds. CTX shot 57 percent in the second half and finished at 51 percent for the game. The Tornados hit 14 three-pointers and out rebounded the Cru 40-32 in the game.
The Cru men will now hit the road to close out the regular season with games at Sul Ross State on Thursday and at Howard Payne on Saturday. UMHB has already clinched a berth in the ASC Championship Tournament and can finish no lower than third place in the ASC West Division.