LONGVIEW – The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor men’s basketball team overcame a cold-shooting first half and dominate the second as the Cru roared back for a 78-60 victory over LeTourneau University Saturday afternoon in Longview. The UMHB men improve to 14-7 overall and 11-5 in American Southwest Conference play after snapping a three-game losing streak. The loss drops the Yellow Jackets to 5-16 overall and 3-13 in the ASC on the season.
LeTourneau opened the game with a 13-1 run and the Cru didn’t score its first basket until Sidney Deloach‘s dunk at the 12:34 mark. The Yellow Jackets pushed the lead to 21-8 with 9:14 left in the first half before UMHB used a 7-0 run to get to within six points. The Cru closed to within four before settling for a 30-24 halftime deficit. UMHB stormed back in the second half and took its first lead of the game at 42-41 on Jerard Graham‘s lay-up with 11:33 to go in the game. The two teams jockeyed back and forth until Jalen Juryconverted a four-point play with 7:19 remaining to give UMHB a 55-49 lead and the momentum. LeTourneau would get back to within four points at 55-51, but the Cru closed the game with a 23-9 run to put it away.
Jury led all scorers with a season-high 21 points for the Cru. He hit 7-8 shots on the day and was 4-4 from three-point range. Russell Green chipped in 13 points for UMHB. Avery Polchinskiprovided a spark with a season-high 11 points off the bench and Layton Zinsmeister added 11 points and five assists. Graham also reached double figures with 10 points and he pulled down a team-best eight rebounds. The Cru hit 4-6 three-pointers in the first half, but went just 2-18 from inside the arc to shoot just 25 percent as a team. UMHB shot 65 percent from the field in the second half and went 5-5 from the arc. The Cru also went 27-33 from the free throw line in the victory. UMHB also out rebounded the Yellow Jackets 37-32 in the contest.
Sam Talbert led LeTourneau with 17 points and Demetrius Blanton added 12 points. Kelby Schimming had a double-double for the Yellow Jackets with 10 points and a game-high 12 rebounds. LeTourneau shot 39 percent from the field as a team and went 4-18 on three-pointers.
The Cru will now return home to host the final two regular season home games of the year next week. UMHB will welcome U.T.-Tyler to the Mayborn Campus Center for a 7:30 PM start on Thursday before closing out the week with a 3:00 PM tip against the University of the Ozarks on Saturday.