Cru in 1st place after win
Thursday, 31 January 2013 by Keith Bahlmann
The weather outside University of Mary Hardin-Baylor Mayborn Campus Center was pretty treacherous, following the rain pounding Belton took last week.
But the fans of the Cru men's basketball team absolutely love the winning habit of their Crusaders.
UMHB pounded the Hardin-Simmons Cowboys 106-67 on Saturday, launching the Cru into a season-long, six-game road trip starting this week. The Crusaders are 12-3 overall and 8-1 in American Southwester Conference play.. The Cowboys drop to 9-5 overall and 6-3 in the ASC. With the win, the Cru takes over sole possession of first place in the ASC West, one game ahead of Concordia and two games ahead of Hardin-Simmons.
Hardin-Simmons took an early 10-6 lead on the Cru. UMHB bounced back with a 7-0 run that the Cru never surrendered. The Cowboys' Eric Taylor pulled them within one point with a three-pointer with 3:18 remaining in the first half at 30-29. Thomas Orr caught fire for the Cru, as he scored 12 of the next 14 Cru points and closed out the first half with a two-handed, reverse slam dunk and put the Cru up 44-29 at the horn.
The Cowboys drew back to within 11 points early in the second half. But the Cru's bench really took the game to another level, as Orr's long-range shooting and Antonie Chaney's stellar defense and timely offense put the game out of range. The Cru pushed the lead out to 20 points at the 10:54 mark of second half, 30 points with 3:09 remaining, and 40 points with :44 remaining.
Orr finished with a game-high 24 points to lead the Cru, 18 of the point scored in the first half. Chaney had 23 points and six assists for UMHB. Kitrick Bell had a double-double with 17 points and 13 rebounds. James Allen just missed a triple-double, scoring 15 points, grabbing nine rebounds, and recording seven assists for the Cru.
Taylor led the Cowboys with 21 points off the bench. John Derr scored 12 points and Bernard Stiggers added 10 points for Hardin-Simmons. Leading scorer Darius Singletary was held to two points and was limited to 1-5 shooting for the game
UMHB also forced 22 turnovers on the game, while turning the ball over only nine times.
"I was tremendously impressed with the way we defended," said coach Ken DeWeese. "The bad news is we still have to go back up to Abilene. I thought we blocked shots and got right in there and defended well."
The Cru will be in Seguin Thursday night to start a six-game, ASC road trip.