RICHARDSON (February 23, 2013) -- The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor men’s basketball team answered every Hardin-Simmons run in the second half as the Cru posted a 76-67 victory in the semifinals of the American Southwest Conference Championship Tournament Saturday in Richardson. UMHB will now move into the ASC title game for the third time in the last four years. The loss ends the Cowboys season at 16-11.
The Cru built an early 16-9 lead before Hardin-Simmons battled back to take a 27-20 lead late in the first half. UMHB closed the half with a 13-4 run and took a 33-31 halftime lead on James Allen’s three-pointer in the final seconds of the half. The two teams would trade the lead until the game was tied at 54 with 7:20 left. The Cru stretched the lead to seven points before HSU cut it to one at 57-56 with 6:39 remaining. Thomas Orr hit back-to-back three-pointers to give UMHB a 63-56 lead and the Cowboys would not get closer than three points the rest of the way as the Cru iced the game from the free-throw line.
Orr led UMHB with a career-high 34 points on 12-18 shooting. Brian Todd added 14 points and eight rebounds and Allen chipped in ten points. The Cru shot 55 percent from the field in the second half and hit 47 percent for the game. UMHB also out rebounded the Cowboys 39-30 in the victory.
John Derr topped HSU with 24 points and he hit 6-12 from three-point range. Eric Taylor had 15 points and Andy Spears scored 14 while pulling down eight boards. The Cowboys shot 39 percent from the field and went 9-22 from beyond the arc.
UMHB improves to 23-4 on the season with the victory. The Cru will advance to the ASC Championship Game at 2:00 PM tomorrow to face either tournament host U.T.-Dallas or Concordia Texas. The winner of that game will also claim the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Division III National Championships.