BELTON, Texas – The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor men’s basketball team withstood a barrage of Texas Lutheran three-pointers as the Cru topped the Bulldogs 89-74 Wednesday evening in Belton. UMHB improves to 7-1 on the season with the victory. The loss drops TLU to 3-4 on the year.

Texas Lutheran’s first four field goals all came from outside the arc as the Bulldogs grabbed an early 14-13 lead. UMHB answered with a 16-0 run featuring seven points from Brian Long to give the Cru a 29-14 lead. The advantage would grow to as many as 19 points in the first half before the Bulldogs were able to close the gap to 50-37 at halftime. The lead hovered around 11 points for much of the second half before TLU pulled to within six points at 78-72 with 2:53 remaining. UMHB hit four straight free throws to push the lead back to double digits and LaKendric Hyson put the exclamation point on the victory with a thunderous dunk with 1:19 left in the contest.

Long was 9-11 from the field to score a game-high 29 points and he added eight rebounds, four assists and three steals. Hyson and Sam Moore scored 16 points apiece for UMHB and Byrale Carter added 15 points and six steals. Demarius Cress scored nine points and became the Cru’s Division III era career scoring leader by passing James Allen’s total of 1,421 points. UMHB shot 59 percent from the field in the first half and finished at 52 percent. The Cru out rebounded Texas Lutheran 38-29 and added 12 steals on the night.

Harris Jowell had 20 points to pace the Bulldogs and he added nine rebounds. Alex Cage had 15 points off the bench and Sebastian Andrade scored 12 points. Texas Lutheran hit 14-38 three-pointers in the game and shot 41 percent overall from the field.

UMHB will return to action with an American Southwest Conference showdown at U.T.-Dallas on Saturday in Richardson. The Cru will then return home for a five-game home stand.