BELTON – The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor men’s basketball team used a hot start to take control of the game and the Cru answered every Sul Ross State challenge in an 81-70 victory over the Lobos Thursday night in Belton. UMHB improves to 12-4 overall and 9-2 in American Southwest Conference play with its fifth straight victory. The Cru has also won ten of its last 11 contests. The loss drops Sul Ross State to 2-13 overall and 2-8 in the ASC on the year.
The Lobos’ only lead of the game came at 5-3 early in the first half and the Cru erased that with a 13-0 run to take the lead into double figures. Sul Ross hit just one of its first 13 shots from the field. The Lobos chipped away and got back to within three points before UMHB pushed it out again for a 39-28 halftime lead. Sul Ross closed to within six points early in the second half, but the Cru opened it up once again and led by as many as 19 points before cruising to the victory.
Jerard Graham had a huge night for UMHB, hitting 11-17 from the field and finishing with 26 points, nine rebounds and six assists. Sidney Deloach added a career-high 13 points and seven rebounds off the bench while Jalen Jury had 11 points off the bench. Layton Zinsmeister dished off a career-high 11 assists for the Cru and finished just one off the school’s Division III era single-game record of 12. UMHB shot 48 percent from the field and hit 9-27 from three-point range. The Cru also out rebounded the Lobos 43-32 in the win.
Rocky Feliciano led Sul Ross State with 18 points and he scored 16 of those in the second half. Trey Richardson chipped in 13 off the bench on 5-6 shooting. The Lobos shot just 31 percent from the field in the first half and finished at 40 percent for the game. Sul Ross hit 10-25 from beyond the arc and shot 23 free-throws compared to just 12 for UMHB.
The Cru men will close out a four-game home stand with a 3:00 PM tip-off against Howard Payne University on Saturday at the Mayborn Campus Center. UMHB will then play six of its final eight regular season games on the road.