BELTON, Texas- Three double-digit scorers were the difference as the UMHB men’s basketball team took down McMurry for the second time in a week, defeating the Warhawks at home by a score of 104- 74.
The always-consistent Josiah Johnson once again paced the Cru with 33 points, his seventh game of the season with 30-plus points. The sophomore guard was stellar, knocking down six three-pointers and adding 11 rebounds in a double-double effort. He also dished out eight assists.
In addition, Centenary transfer Ty Prince had perhaps his best game ever wearing the purple and gold, scoring 23 points combined with six rebounds, and three assists. Guard Kyle Wright, who had seen his playing time dwindle over the last couple of games, emerged in 14 minutes of action with a 12-point performance.
The contest, as mentioned above, pitted two teams who had faced off in Abilene last Saturday, with UMHB also winning that one, 94-66. It was a similar story in Belton Thursday, as the Cru moved to an impressive 5-0 in ASC play.
An early jumper from forward Aedan Welch put the Cru in front 2-0 to begin the contest, though McMurry countered 38 seconds later to tie it up. The Warhawks would actually take a 16-10 lead with about 15 minutes left in the first half in a game that seesawed back and forth for the majority of the first 20 minutes of action. Though McMurry was out in front, a Prince three-pointer followed by a Carson Hammond layup put the Cru within one. Wright found his mark from behind the arc, swishing a three with 12:28 in the first half to give UMHB a narrow 18-16 advantage. It was a tight game for much of the period of play, though the Cru pulled away with a 13-2 scoring run to conclude the half in front, 41-29.
From that point on, McMurry had no answer for the lethal offensive attack of the Cru, as Johnson hit back-to-back threes to open the second half. The final 20 minutes saw UMHB extend its lead to 30 on two different occasions, with the Crusaders shooting 48 percent from the field and outscoring their opponents 61-45.
Offense played a critical role in UMHB’s fifth-straight win, as the squad from Belton shot an impressive 50 percent from the field, and 40 percent from three-point range. 34 bench points played no small role, either, with six different players coming off the bench to contribute to the Cru’s 104 points.
Holding sole possession of first place in the ASC West Division, the Cru also remain the only team in the conference with an undefeated record. However, the road will not get any easier, with a tough Hardin-Simmons team coming to Belton for a Saturday afternoon duel this weekend. Last Thursday, head coach Clif Carroll’s team took down the Cowboys, 77-67. Tip-off is set for 3 p.m. CT.