UMHB basketball teams sweep Hardin-Simmons

The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor women’s basketball team withstood a late Hardin-Simmons comeback bid as the Cru posted a 66-58 victory over the Cowgirls Thursday night in Belton. The 7th-ranked UMHB women improve to 15-1 overall and 7-0 in American Southwest Conference play with the victory. The loss drops Hardin-Simmons to 9-6 overall and 3-4 in the ASC on the year.

The Cru held a nine-point lead going into the fourth quarter and stretched it to 55-44 with 8:15 left in the game before Hardin-Simmons started to chip away. The Cowgirls tied the game at 55 with 3:13 remaining and the teams traded three-pointers to leave it knotted up at 58-58 with 1:58 to go. UMHB’s defense stepped up and forced five missed HSU shots and wrapped six free-throws around a Hannah Holt jumper to score the game’s final eight points to pull away for the win. The Cru gained some separation in the second quarter to grab a 35-24 halftime lead and maintained a double-digit edge for much of the third period.

Holt topped UMHB with 16 points. Kendall Rollins added 13 points and Alicia Blackwell scored 12. Aubrie Elliott also reached double figures, coming off the bench to score 11. Jones pulled down 12 rebounds for the Cru and Madison McCoy dished off nine assists. UMHB shot 32 percent from the field and hit just 3-13 from three-point range. The Cru grabbed 17 offensive rebounds and out rebounded the Cowgirls 56-38 in the victory.

Maria Fernandez led HSU with 14 points and Kiana Reed added 10. Keilee Burke led the Cowgirls with 14 rebounds. Hardin-Simmons shot 30 percent from the field as a team and hit just 4-19 from beyond the arc.

The Cru women will host McMurry University for a 1 pm start on Saturday.

The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor men’s basketball team dominated the second half as the Cru hammered Hardin-Simmons 105-69 Thursday night in Belton. UMHB snaps a two-game losing streak and improves to 13-3 overall and 4-3 in American Southwest Conference play with the victory. The loss drops the Cowboys to 9-7 overall and 4-3 in the ASC on the year.

The two teams were tied seven times and traded the lead eight times in a back-and-forth first half. After leading by six in the early going, UMHB held a 42-38 edge at halftime. Hardin-Simmons closed to 44-43 early in the second half only to see the Cru explode for a 27-7 run to take the lead out to 21 at 71-50. The Cru lead would grow to as many as 42 before UMHB made wholesale changes. The Cru shot 63 percent from the field in the second half while holding the Cowboys to 26 percent shooting in the final 20 minutes of action and outscored HSU 63-31 in the second half.

Brian Long led UMHB with 24 points on 9-12 shooting. Sam Moore added 23 points and six assists. Demarius Cress also had six assists to go with 19 points, LaKendric Hyson scored 14 and Byrale Carter added 13 points and a game-high nine rebounds. UMHB shot 56 percent for the game as a team and went 11-26 from beyond the arc. The Cru also hit 22-24 free-throws in the win.

Steven Quinn was the only player to reach double figures for Hardin-Simmons, finishing with 12 points. Three players scored eight points apiece, including Joe Hoeup, who also grabbed a team-high seven rebounds. The Cowboys shot just 34 percent from the field and were 7-25 from beyond the arc. HSU also hit just 12-22 from the stripe in the loss.

The Cru will host McMurry University for a 3 pm tip-off on Saturday before playing the next five games on the road.