BELTON, Texas — Fifth-ranked Mary Hardin-Baylor grabbed control of the game in the second half and then held off Schreiner’s comeback bid as the Cru posted a 79-74 victory against the Mountaineers on Thursday night. UMHB improves to 23-1 overall on the season including a 19-1 mark in American Southwest Conference play. The loss drops the Mountaineers to 12-12 overall and 10-10 in the ASC on the season.
Schreiner led 36-35 at halftime after hitting 7-11 from three-point range. UMHB used a Greg Wiernas free-throw and James Allen three-pointer to take a 39-36 lead early in the second half and the Cru took its first double-digit lead when Kitrick Bell hit two freebies to make it 54-43 with 10:43 remaining.
UMHB pushed the lead to as many as 14 points at 57-43 and was up 72-62 with 3:08 to go before the Mountaineers started to chip away. Ethan Catalani converted a four-point play with 1:11 on the clock to pull Schreiner to within two at 74-72.
Brian Todd then converted a three-point play of his own with 38 seconds on the clock before Catalani hit a jumper with 16 seconds left to make it 77-74. Allen hit a pair of free throws with 13 seconds left to push the Cru advantage to 79-74. Bell rebounded Darren Smith’s three-point try with eight seconds remaining and UMHB ran out the clock for the victory.
Allen led the Cru with 14 points including a 4-7 effort from three-point range. Bell added 13 points and nine rebounds and Todd also reached double figures with 10 for UMHB. Greg Wiernas pulled down a team-best 10 rebounds as UMHB out rebounded Schreiner 47-36. The Cru shot 40 percent from the field and went 16-21 from the free throw line.
Smith led the Mountaineers with 34 points as he hit 9-12 from three-point range. Travis Pflughaupt added 14 points and a game-best 12 rebounds and Catalani scored 13 points. Schreiner shot 41 percent from the field and went 12-23 from beyond the arc.
The victory also clinches the best regular season record in the program history for Mary Hardin-Baylor. The 2007-08 team went 22-3 in the regular season to set the previous mark.