ALPINE, Texas – The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor men’s basketball team almost erased a four-point deficit in the final seconds, but the Cru comeback bid fell just short in a 91-89 loss to Sul Ross State Saturday in Alpine. UMHB falls to 15-5 overall and 6-5 in American Southwest Conference play with the loss. The Lobos improve to 9-11 overall and 4-7 in the ASC with the victory.
The two teams traded the lead throughout the second half before the Lobos were able to take an 88-84 lead by wrapping free throws around an empty trip for the Cru offense. Demarius Cress converted a three-point play to pull UMHB to within 88-87 with 12 seconds remaining. Jola Otubu was able to escape ion the inbounds pass and had a three-point play of his own to put Sul Ross on top 91-87 with five seconds left to play. Cress raced down the court and was fouled on an off-balance three-point shot that just went off the back iron. He buried the first two free throws and UMHB was unable to get a tip-in on the intentional miss on the third free throw as the buzzer sounded. There were eight lead changes and five ties in the second half as neither team could put the other away. The Lobos led 46-41 at halftime after four lead changes and a tie to set the tone for the back-and-forth second half to follow.
Cress led the Cru with 25 points on 8-14 shooting. Sam Moore added 20 points and eight rebounds, Byrale Carter scored 17 points, grabbed five rebounds and recorded four assists and Brian Long had 16 points before fouling out with four minutes to go. UMHB shot 47 percent as a team and finished 8-20 from three-point range after scoring its first 12 points from beyond the arc. Both teams finished with 35 rebounds, but UMHB turned the ball over 14 times while forcing just nine Lobo giveaways.
Tristan Licon topped Sul Ross with 25 points and B.J. Hollis added 23 points as the duo combined to hit nine three-pointers. Cole Avery had 11 points, Otubu and Gideon Fry added 10 points apiece and Fry pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds. The Lobos shot 44 percent from the field as a team, but made 12 three-pointers in the victory.
The Cru closes out its five-game road trip with games at McMurry University and Hardin-Simmons University next week in Abilene. The Cru will then return home to close out the regular season with three straight home games.