Nov. 29, 2008

Courtesy of Hardin-Simmons

ABILENE, Texas — Hardin-Simmons’ men’s basketball team came out hot and finished down the stretch as the Cowboys defeated perennial American Southwest Conference power Mississippi College, 88-82, in the ASC opener for both schools on Saturday afternoon in the Mabee Complex.


The game took a similar turn as the last meeting between the two schools- just in the opposite. Hardin-Simmons hit 10 first half 3-pointers, including nine in the first nine minutes of the game. A year ago MC hit 11 3-pointers in the first half against the Cowboys.


From the 18:15 mark of the first half to the 13:17 mark the Cowboys hit eight straight 3-pointers. Kyle Spitzer, Mark Schlott, Marcus Smith and Rob Yeatts had one and Steven Luckey and Rian Stubbs had two each in the run. As hot as the Cowboys were, they only led 28-21 with 12:19 to play in the first half. HSU then hit a 9-2 run to make it 37-23 with 10:10 to play in the half.


MC came right back with six straight points and HSU had another 9-3 run in the first half and led 48-34 with 1:52 to play in the half. The Cowboys went to the locker room ahead 50-37.


The game went back and forth in the second half and MC dwindled the deficit to one point at 67-66 with 7:12 to play, but HSU surged with seven straight points by freshman Aaron Thornton and the Choctaws never got closer than four points.


MC had cut it to 78-74 and threw on a press that the Cowboys easily broke and senior Rob Yeatts hit the daggers to put the game away with back-to-back 3-pointers.


It is the first time the Cowboys (2-3, 1-0 ASC) have ever defeated the Choctaws (2-1, 0-1 ASC).


HSU was led by Yeatts with 18, Thornton had 16 points and Luckey had 17 points. Richard Worthy had 16 points off the bench and Clarence Jeffrey and Jonathan Stokes each had 14. Jeffrey added 10 rebounds.


The Cowboys will play Louisiana College on Monday at 5:30 p.m.