BELTON, Texas- On the same night that UMHB head men’s basketball coach Clif Carroll’s former team was honored for its 2019-20 ASC Championship title, his current team continued to add to its bid for a conference title, as the Cru defeated Sul Ross State 83-75 on Thursday night.
The win advances UMHB to a perfect 7-0 in ASC play, and 10-3 on the season.
When the two teams met in non-conference play on December 8, Sul Ross took home the win. However, a much-improved UMHB squad brought a different kind of energy to Alpine, as the Cru fought hard for the lead in the first half, with the lead changing six different times. An Aedan Welch layup 44 seconds into the contest put the Cru on the board early, though the Lobos countered less than a minute later, taking a 3-2 lead on a three-pointer from Deveraux Minix. That was the story of the first half, as a stingy UMHB defense forced four turnovers in the final 10 minutes and an 11-0 scoring run, ignited at the 12:41 mark by a Ty Prince jumper, put the Cru in front, 39-26, at halftime.
With a 13-point advantage heading into the final 20 minutes of play, the Crusaders took control in the second half. Prince laid the ball in to give UMHB its first points of the second period of play, just 59 seconds in. The lead would grow to as much as 21, as Byrale Carter got a shot to go with 5:38 remaining. The Lobos still had some gas left in the tank, however, as they closed out the contest on a 12-0 run, holding UMHB scoreless for the final 2:47, though it was not enough to overcome the Cru’s lead.
The win solidified UMHB’s standing as the ASC’s top team, as the Crusaders are the only team this season to have a perfect record in conference play up to this point.
Leading the Cru offensively was Josiah Johnson, who managed to score 18 points despite being heavily guarded. Carter added 17 points and 10 rebounds in a double-double effort, as did Prince, who not only pulled down 10 rebounds but also scored 16 points.
Next up for Carroll’s squad is a trip to Brownwood, Texas, where the Cru will battle Howard Payne on Saturday. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. CT.