The UMHB men’s basketball team battled for all 40 minutes against Sul Ross State Tuesday, but the Lobos’ clutch free-throw shooting late resulted in an 89-75 loss for the Cru.
Facing his former team, UMHB head coach Clif Carroll had the right players on the floor, with point guard Josiah Johnson and forward Aedan Welch each contributing 18 points apiece. Johnson, last week’s ASC West Division Player of the Week, posted a double-double pulling down 11 rebounds to go along with his scoring performance. Sharpshooter Kobe Richardson earned his first start of the season, and did not disappoint, continuing to put the ball in from behind the three-point arc. All six of his shots taken were three-pointers, and of those six, he knocked down five, scoring 15 points. So far this season, the Forsan, Texas, native has been the Cru’s go-to shooter from beyond the arc, with a team-high 81 percent from three-point range (min. 10 attempts).
The contest between the two ASC rivals was fast-paced with a combined 18 fast-break points between the two teams, and ultimately, was won in the paint. Sul Ross State outscored the Cru 30-18 in the paint, and also narrowly outrebounded the Cru 40-38. Late in the contest, as UMHB was forced to foul, the Lobos were perfect from the free-throw line, as they shot about 91 percent from the charity stripe in 22 attempts on the day.
Though the Lobos began the game on a 4-0 run, UMHB quickly fought back, as the lead was exchanged eight times over the course of the first half. As it turned out, UMHB’s two-point, 19-17 lead at the 8:27 following a Kyle Wright three-pointer would be the last time the Cru held the lead, with Sul Ross State taking a 39-33 advantage at the half. Though trailing for the remainder of the contest, UMHB never abandoned its gameplan working to get the ball inside to Welch, and finding solid shooters all over the floor, such as Richardson, Wright, or guard Carson Hammond, who each scored 11 points.
The game was much closer than the final score, with the Lobos only reaching their largest lead of 15 with just 37 seconds to play. UMHB has little time to dwell on the loss, as the Cru will be back inside the UTD Activity Center on Thursday afternoon when they play the Comets of UT-Dallas at 3:00 p.m., marking UMHB’s fourth non-conference matchup of the season against a fellow ASC opponent.