ABILENE, Texas – Hardin-Simmons' men's basketball team played its best game of the season and beat previously unbeaten UT-Tyler, 88-85, in American Southwest Conference action at the Mabee Complex on Thursday night.
The Cowboys raced out of the gate to a 17-6 lead, before the Patriots battled back and eventually took a 34-33 lead. Neither team led by more than three points the rest of the first half and they went to halftime tied at 41.
HSU took control with a 15-6 run over a 4:51 stretch late in the second half and took a 78-68 lead with 2:15 to play on a Keenan Holdman layup.
The Cowboys were 10-for-10 down the stretch at the free throw line to thwart any comeback attempt by the Patriots, who cut it to three points on a couple of occasions.
HSU shot 48.3 percent in the game and went 22-of-24 at the free throw line.
Caleb Spoon led a balanced Cowboy attack with 20 points. Joe Hoeup added 19 and C.J. Rice had 17 for the Cowboys. Chriss Barrett added 11 points and six assists and Keenan Holdman had 10 points and six rebounds.
Melvin Anthony paced the Patriots with 19 points and 10 rebounds and Emeka Obukwelu and Johnell Lane each had 17.
The Cowboys are now 2-5 overall and 2-1 in ASC play. UT-Tyler fell to 6-1 on the year and 1-1 in league play. HSU will take the week off for finals before hosting Schreiner next Friday at 7 p.m.
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