Mary Hardin-Baylor tops McMurry
Cru advances to Third Round for first time in school history
ABILENE, Texas -- In round four between Mary Hardin-Baylor and McMurry, the Cru landed some big early punches but could knock McMurry out until the final bell as UMHB posted a 70-67 victory in an NCAA Division III National Championships Second Round game Saturday night in Abilene. The Cru improves to 23-7 on the season with the victory and UMHB moves into the Third Round of the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history. McMurry finishes the season at 21-8 and was making its first appearance in the NCAA Tournament since 2001.
The Cru dominated the early going, leading the entire way and taking its first double-digit lead of the game at 28-17 with 6:23 left in the first half. UMHB would push the lead to 40-19 with 1:16 left in the half before a late McMurry run cut it to 40-24 at the half. The Cru would carry a double-digit lead into the late going, holding a 58-47 lead with 6:43 remaining. McMurry would use a 6-0 run to cut it to 58-53 with 5:04 to go, but UMHB answered with a 4-0 run of its own to push the lead back to nine at 62-53. A Derick Sumpter three-pointer and three straight points from Teddy Chambers cut the lead to three at 62-59 with 1:22 to go. James Allen would then hit four straight free throws for the Cru to take the lead back to seven points. After the teams traded points, Chambers and Jaden Isler wrapped three-pointers around a Marlon Miller free throw to cut the UMHB lead to three at 70-67 with 1.8 seconds on the clock. Dean Pele would hit the first of two free throws and McMurry could only manage a desperation heave from Steven Jones as the buzzer expired.
Allen led the Cru with 15 points off the bench and he hit 4-6 from the field in the game. Miller added 13 points and Sterling Phillips had 10 points for UMHB. Robert Moore grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds and Cory Meals had eight big points in the first half.
Sumpter led McMurry with 17 points but he went just 6-17 from the field. Isler had 16 points and six assists and Jones finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
The Cru shot a blistering 61 percent from the field in the first half and held McMurry to 32 percent shooting in the half. UMHB finished at 49 percent for the game while McMurry shot 44 percent. The Cru out rebounded McMurry 38-37 and held them to 30 percent shooting from three-point range. The UMHB bench also outscored McMurry's 28-9 in the win.
UMHB will now advance to take on Augustana (IL) in the Third Round next Friday night. Defending national champion Wisconsin-Stevens Point and St. Thomas (MN) are the other two teams in that pod. The site for that pod and game times will be announced sometime tomorrow.
UMHB had only won one NCAA Tournament game entering this year's tournament. The ASC has now had a team advance to the NCAA Division III Third Round for the third consecutive year. U.T.-Dallas advanced to the Sweet 16 in each of the previous two seasons.