BELTON – The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor men’s basketball team erased a double-digit deficit early in the game and gutted out a late Comet rally as the Cru held on for an 80-78 victory over the University of Texas at Dallas Saturday afternoon in Belton. UMHB improves to 11-4 overall and 8-2 in American Southwest Conference play with the victory. The loss drops the Comets to 10-5 overall and 5-5 in the ASC on the year.
UTD came out firing and led by ten points just 8:33 into the game. The lead would grow to as many as 13 points before UMHB used a 10-0 run late in the first half to tie the game. The Comets held a 39-38 edge at the break. The Cru took its first lead of the game at 48-46 on Jerard Graham‘s jumper with 15:29 remaining and UMHB took the lead out to as many as six points before UTD fought back. The two teams traded the lead down the stretch until Rafael Farley hit a three-pointer and two free throws and Matthew Medell added a three-pointer to give the Comets a 76-68 lead with 2:39 left to play. Graham took over for UMHB, scoring eight straight points to tie the game at 76 with 58 seconds to go. Daniel Mills hit two free throws after a costly UTD foul with 32 seconds left and Layton Zinsmeisteradded a steal and two more freebies with 14 seconds on the clock. Farley hit a basket with two seconds left and was fouled. He intentionally missed the free throw and the Comets grabbed the rebound with 0.2 seconds on the clock. UTD was unable to really get off a shot at the buzzer as UMHB held on for the win.
Graham led the Cru with 26 points on 11-20 shooting and he added eight rebounds and six assists. Jalen Jurypoured in 21 points off the bench for UMHB and Mills chipped in 10 more. The Cru shot 56 percent from the field in the second half and hit 42 percent for the game. UMHB was 7-25 from three-point range.
Farley tied the ASC single-game record with 10 three-pointers on his way to a game-high 40 points for the Comets. He was 10-16 from beyond the arc and added 11 rebounds. Kyle Coulter had 11 points and Medell scored 10 for UTD. The Comets shot 46 percent from the field and went 13-34 from three-point range. UTD also out rebounded the Cru 40-35 in the contest.
The Cru men will continue their four-game home stand with two more ASC games next week. UMHB will host Sul Ross State for a 7:30 PM tip-off next Thursday before closing out the week with a 3:00 PM start against Howard Payne University next Saturday.