BELTON – The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor men’s basketball team erased a second-half deficit in the final seconds and then pulled away in overtime as the Cru posted an 84-77 victory over Louisiana College Thursday evening in Belton. The UMHB men improve to 5-3 overall and 3-1 in American Southwest Conference play with the victory. The loss drops the Wildcats to 2-3 overall and 2-1 in the ASC on the season.
The game was tied at 63 before LC’s Kevin Cottonham wrapped two three-pointers around Kevin Waller‘s tip-in to give the Wildcats a 69-65 lead with 48 seconds left. Russell Green hit two free throws to cut it to 69-67 with 38 seconds remaining. Kevin Lewis hit one of two free-throws for LC to make it at 70-67 game with 31 seconds on the clock. Jerard Graham drilled a long-range three with 26 seconds left to tie it at 70. Cottonham missed a jumper with one second left and Justin Gammill pulled down the rebound for the Cru to send the game to overtime. LC grabbed a 75-74 lead early in overtime but Waller’s jumper and Gammill’s three-pointer put UMHB up 79-75 and the Cru stretched it out from there. Louisiana College also led early in the game before UMHB battled back for a 33-27 halftime advantage.
Graham led the Cru with 27 points on 11-20 shooting and she added seven rebounds. Green had 24 points and 10 rebounds and Gammill also reached double figures with 11 points and he added eight rebounds. UMHB shot 61 percent in the second half and hit 49 percent for the game. The Cru out rebounded LC 39-37 in the victory.
Steve Evans topped Louisiana College with 15 points and he added a team-best eight rebounds. Anthony Gaines, Jr. scored 14 points, 12 of them in the second half before fouling out. Kevin Lewis and Dillon Mandeville had 12 points apiece and Cottonham finished with 11. The Wildcats shot 42 percent as a team and hit 9-28 from three-point range in the loss.
The Cru men will now close out the calendar year with a non-conference game at Texas Lutheran University in Seguin on December 31st. UMHB will return home to host ASC games against LeTourneau University and East Texas Baptist University on January 3rd and January 5th.