JACKSON, Mississippi The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor men’s basketball team could not overcome a late first-half cold spell as the Cru’s second-half comeback bid fell just short in a 97-91 loss to Belhaven University Thursday night in Jackson, Mississippi. The loss snaps UMHB’s six-game winning streak and drops UMHB to 12-2 overall and 3-2 in American Southwest Conference play. The Blazers improve to 6-5 overall and 2-3 in the ASC with the victory.
UMHB opened the game with a 20-6 run, but saw Belhaven score 21 of the next 23 points. Belhaven would build a 42-30 halftime lead after the Cru shot just 39 percent from the floor in the first half. UMHB stormed back to grab a 51-50 lead on LaKendric Hyson’s three-point play. Belhaven would retake the lead and go up by seven before Demarius Cress hit a lay-up to tie it at 66 with 9:19 remaining. The Blazers would go back up by seven before Hyson drilled a three-pointer with 50 seconds left to close the gap to 89-85. Belhaven again pushed the lead to six points before Cress converted a three-point play with 18 seconds on the clock to cut the lead to three. The Blazers would ice the game with three late free-throws.
Hyson and Sam Moore led the Cru with 17 points apiece and Moore added a team-best 10 rebounds. Byrale Carter scored 15 points, Cress finished with 13 and Mike Davis scored 10 for UMHB. The Cru 47 percent from the field and out rebounded Belhaven 41-36, but UMHB was just 25-41 from the free-throw line in the loss.
Brosnan Cooks and Kelvin Pruitt led the Blazers with 19 points each. Laramie Long scored 17 and Joseph Jones also reached double figures with 11 for Belhaven. The Blazers shot 56 percent from the field in the second half and finished at 49 percent for the game. Belhaven also went 27-36 from the free-throw stripe in the win.
UMHB will take on ASC East Division leader Louisiana College in a 3 pm tip-off Saturday in Pineville, Louisiana. The Cru will then return home to open ASC West Division play with a pair of home games next week.