Tyler, TX – The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor men's basketball team
built a double-digit second-half lead and then held off U.T.-Tyler's
late comeback attempt with clutch free-throw shooting in a 75-71 win
over the Patriots Saturday
afternoon in Tyler. The Cru improves to 10-3 overall and 6-1 in American
Southwest Conference play with the win. The Patriots fall to 10-3
overall and 5-2 in the ASC with their second straight loss.
UMHB led 35-28 at halftime and opened the second half with an 8-2 run to build a 13-point lead at 43-30. U.T.-Tyler cut it to six points at 49-43 midway through the second half before the Cru took the lead back into double figures. Darren Houliston's three-point play pulled the Patriots to within two at 58-56 with 3:46 remaining. James Allen answered with a three-point play of his own and UMHB would lead by seven with 2:20 left to play. A Joe Stephens three-pointer cut the Cru's lead to 67-66 with 54 seconds left, but Thomas Orr hit a three of his own to put UMHB back up by four. Jordan Cannon wrapped a basketball and three-point around two Orr free-throws to make it 72-71 UMHB with eight seconds on the clock. Cory Meals then hit two free throws to make it 74-71 Cru and Orr pulled down the rebound on Cannon's missed three with 0.1 seconds left. Orr hit the first free throw before intentionally missing the second to end the game.
Brian Todd had 18 points and 10 rebounds to lead UMHB and Kitrick Bell also recorded a double-double with 17 points and 13 boards. Orr also scored 18 points and Allen chipped in 13 more for the Cru. UMHB shot 45 percent from the field and went 20-28 from the free-throw line. The Cru also out rebounded the Patriots 42-30 with 14 of those rebounds coming on the offensive glass.
Houliston topped U.T.-Tyler with 18 points and nine rebounds. Cannon and Travis Dykman scored 12 points apiece for the Patriots. U.T.-Tyler shot 42 percent from the field and hit 9-21 from three-point range in the loss.
Saturday's game closes out ASC crossover play for the Cru men. UMHB will now return home to open ASC West Division play with a pair of games next week. The Cru will host Concordia Texas for a 7:30 PM start on Tuesday before closing out the week with a 3:00 PM start against Hardin-Simmons University next Saturday.