Above photo by Olivia Champion/@byolivarayn
7:30 p.m., Mayborn Campus Center, Belton
The Series: UMHB is 6-4 in its last 10 matchups with Sul Ross, losing to Carroll, then SRSU’s head coach, five times, from 2015-2020. They’ve won the last two meetings with the Lobos, and are 7-4 at home against SRSU.
UMHB (10-1, 5-1 ASC)
UMHB Projected Starting Five
Head Coach: Clif Carroll (2nd Season)
About the Cru: The nation’s No. 19 team opened 2022 with a statement win, defeating Concordia 111-101 in a game that was decided well before the final minutes. The Crusaders broke Concordia’s full-court press well as Josiah Johnson scored a season-high 42 points. Johnson’s scoring feat was just a small microcosm of the offensive success UMHB has enjoyed throughout this season, averaging 88.5 points per game. The Cru ranks second in the ASC in field goal percentage (47.6%), and leads the conference in free-throw percentage (80.3%). What Carroll is continuing to look for from his team is two halves of consistent defense, something they have done partially, yet not fully during this season. Johnson is six points from breaking the 900-point career mark.
Sul Ross State (5-8, 2-5 ASC)
Sul Ross State Projected Starting Five
Head Coach: Xavier Webb (2nd Season)
About the Lobos: SRSU may not have shot particularly well from the field this season, 39.9% ranks ninth in the ASC, but the team has put together a number of spectacular defensive performances, tied for the conference lead in fewest points allowed per game (70.2). Under the direction of Webb, the Lobos defeated Howard Payne and Ozarks to open conference action, and defeated Millsaps 71-58 in non-conference play before the holiday break. Julian Paredes and Trey Nelson have led the Lobos on both ends of the floor, with both averaging over 12.0 PPG. Paredes has started all 13 games, and is playing a team-high 28.5 minutes per contest.