RICHARDSON, Texas – Hardin-Simmons' men's basketball team advanced to the American Southwest Conference Championship game with a 97-91 win over Mary Hardin-Baylor on Friday evening in Richardson at the UTD Activity Center.
The Cowboys, who had lost both meetings to the Cru during the season, led most of the game. The teams felt each other out in the early going and HSU led 14-13 when the Cowboys went on a 10-3 run to open a 24-16 lead on a Kadon Lewis layup.
UMHB chipped away and tied the game at 35 with 3:27 when LaKendric Hyson hit his fourth 3-pointer of the half. HSU responded with a 7-0 run, including five points by Jalen Terry, who dropped 17 points in the first half. HSU led 44-39 at halftime.
UMHB came out strong in the second half and took a 54-50 lead, its biggest lead of the game, with 15:40 to play. The game was last tied with 8:49 to play at 64. HSU scored nine of the next 12 points and Terry hit a 3-pointer with 6:57 to play to make it 73-67.
The Cowboys led 79-77 when senior Joe Hoeup hit a 3-pointer from the right wing for his 1,000th career point. He hit another a few trips later to make it 87-79. HSU closed it out down the stretch at the free throw line.
HSU went 10-of-18 at the free throw line in the final 1:38 of the game to let the Cru hang around until the final seconds. Prior to that stretch, HSU was 18-for-22 at the foul line in the game. Overall HSU went 28-of-40 at the stripe and the Cru was just 15-of-25 in a game that featured 49 fouls.
Terry had 32 points to top his previous career-best of 30 points set yesterday in the quarterfinals. Neal Chambliss was 8-for-9 from the field and scored a career-best 18 points. Hoeup finished with 17 and Steven Quinn added 11.
LaKendric Hyson led five UMHB players into double figures with 20 points. Sam Moore added 17 and Demarius Cress ended with 16 points.
The Cowboys will be looking for its third ASC title in four years when it faces UT Dallas in the Championship game tomorrow night at 6 p.m. at UTD. The Comets won a 72-71 game in Abilene earlier in the season when Dimitrius Underwood hit a late game winner.
HSU is 17-10 on the year and UMHB fell to 21-6. The Cru would need an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament to continue its season.
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