Above photo by Luke Zayas/True To The Cru
5:30 p.m. Mayborn Campus Center, Belton
About the series: The Crusaders have won nine of the last 10 meetings, including the last seven. The last time this matchup was played in Belton, last February, UMHB earned a 74-42 win.
UMHB (8-2, 5-0 ASC)
UMHB Projected Starting Five
|40||F||Kasey Jo Hinton||5'10||Sr.||1.5||2.4|
Head Coach Mark Morefield: (7th Season)
About the Cru: It has been 14 days since UMHB last took the floor, but the Crusaders are on a seven-game win streak, having not lost since Nov. 26. In that span, they have defeated two Top 25 teams, in Hardin-Simmons and UT-Dallas. UMHB has found strength in numbers with the bench tallying 25-plus points in every game this season, including contributing 50-plus points twice. Seven different players enter Monday’s contest averaging over 5.0 points per game.
Concordia (TX) (3-7, 1-4 ASC)
Concordia Projected Starting Five
Head Coach: Matt Wallis (9th Season)
About the Tornadoes: Concordia became familiar with its non-conference opponents, facing Southwestern three times, and Texas Lutheran twice over the first month of the season. Despite two early wins over Southwestern, the Tornadoes dropped the next three and have struggled ever since in ASC play. They beat McMurry by 19 on Dec. 11, but that remains their lone ASC win, and the last time out, in a Dec. 30 exhibition at home, lost to Worcester State, 65-60. They rank fourth in the conference in fewest points allowed per game (61.6), but are last in scoring offense and have had trouble shooting the ball, at 28.9% from the field on the year.
What to expect: UMHB enters this contest as the clear favorite, having improved from week-to-week throughout the season’s first two months. Coming off the break, both teams may show signs of rust, but the Crusaders have the advantage in the paint and when it comes to depth. Those are two keys that, if used well, can propel the Cru to its sixth conference win of the year.
Riley Zayas is the managing editor of True To The Cru He has worked as a sportswriter since 2016 and can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.