Above photo by Russell Marwitz/True To The Cru
5 p.m. CT, Richardson, Texas (UTD Activity Center)
READ: UMHB men’s basketball prepares for intense road atmospheres at UT-Dallas and LeTourneau
No. 18 UMHB (15-2, 10-2 ASC)
UMHB Projected Starting Five
About the Cru: With UMHB’s 93-75 win over McMurry on Jan. 29, combined with Belhaven’s upset of LeTourneau, the Crusaders are back in first-place in the ASC standings, holding a half-game lead. After going 6-1 in January, head coach Clif Carroll’s team is seeking a solid start to the final month of the regular season, having won its last three games. The No. 2 scoring offense in the conference (87.8 PPG), UMHB has a variety of talented scorers in the rotation. Guard Josiah Johnson enters the matchup five points away from reaching the career 1,000-point mark. The Crusaders also limit their miscues, with a league-best turnover margin of +3.18, which means on average they force that many more turnovers than their opponent. It is over one-and-a-half points higher than the conference’s second-best team, Howard Payne (+1.90). UMHB won the first meeting between the two, 79-69, on Dec. 16.
UT-Dallas (12-5, 8-4 ASC)
UT-Dallas Projected Starting Five
About the Comets: Consistent from the three-point line, at 36.6 percent, and fundamentally sound on defense, UTD remains very much in the conference race. Currently in fourth place, but only two games back from UMHB, the Comets allow just 72.8 points per game, the fewest in the ASC. Though they went 3-2 in their first five conference contests, UTD picked up three straight road wins in January. The Comets also have a tremendous presence in the paint, behind the play of the Pruitt brothers, Kameron and Kolton, along with the efforts of 6’7 sophomore James Curtis. The matchup between the forwards from UMHB and UTD will be something to keep an eye on.
Said Carroll of UTD: “We know they’re going to be disciplined. We know they’re going to run things the right way. We’re going to have to get them off their spots to win that game.”
Did you know? UMHB has never faced UTD on the road with Carroll as head coach. The last time the programs met in Richardson was Dec. 8, 2018.