BELTON, Texas – No. 8 Mary Hardin-Baylor pulled away late to post an 89-80 victory against Hardin-Simmons on Thursday night. UMHB improve to 21-1 overall and 17-1 in ASC play with the victory. The Cru also clinches the ASC west division title and earns the right to host the ASC championship tournament for the third time in the last five years. The loss drops the Cowboys to 16-6 overall and 13-5 in the ASC on the season.
The two teams went back-and-forth the entire game as the game featured 14 ties and 13 lead changes. UMHB built an early seven-point lead in the second half before the Cowboys fought back. HSU would take a 77-73 lead on an Andy Spears jumper with 5:05 remaining. UMHB cut that lead to one point on a Thomas Orr lay-in and Marlon Miller free-throw before a Spears dunk gave the Cowboys a 79-76 edge with 3:59 remaining. Kitrick Bell’s jumper cut the lead to one and Orr hit two free-throws to put the Cru on top to stay at 80-79 with 3:01 to go. Orr’s steal and dunk pushed the lead to three points and the Cowboys missed their last five shots from the field. UMHB would pull away by icing the victory from the stripe.
Miller led UMHB with 22 points and six players reached double figures for the Cru. Bell had 15, James Allen scored 14, Orr and Brian Todd scored 10 points apiece and Greg Wiernas had a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds. UMHB shot 44 percent from the field and hit 35-44 from the free-throw line as every Cowboys started finished with at least four fouls.
Matt Addison led HSU with 26 points before fouling out on an intentional foul in the final minute. Spears had 18 points and went 8-8 from the field. Terrance Booker and Derrick Jefferson scored 10 points apiece and Jefferson also grabbed 10 boards for the Cowboys. HSU shot 40 percent from the field, but went just 7-26 from three-point range. The Cowboys won the rebounding battle 43-40 and shot 19-26 from the free-throw line.