Above photo by Luke Zayas/True To The Cru
5:30 p.m. CT, Brownwood, Texas (Brownwood Coliseum)
No. 14 UMHB (18-2, 15-0 ASC)
UMHB Projected Starting Five
|40||F||Kasey Jo Hinton||5'10||Jr.||1.9||2.2|
About the Cru: UMHB continues to find ways to win, and has consistently been climbing the D3hoops.com rankings, moving up 10 spots within the last three weeks. The defense was phenomenal in road victories this past week at UT-Dallas and LeTourneau, making up for what was at times inconsistent offense by a tremendous defensive effort. The Crusaders rebound well with their core in the post, and have limited opponents to a 34.8 shooting percentage. Continuous stops on the defensive end translate into good transition opportunities, which has allowed UMHB’s scoring runs to unfold. The Cru defeated HPU 77-53 in Belton a month ago.
Howard Payne (4-17, 2-14 ASC)
Howard Payne Projected Starting Five
About the Yellow Jackets: Since its Jan. 8 loss in Belton, HPU has won just once, in an 85-83 overtime contest at home against McMurry. Under first-year head coach Rachel Janzen, the season has been a series of ups and downs, and allowing a league-worst 75.2 points per game has not helped. The Yellow Jackets kept it close in conference duels against Belhaven, LeTourneau and Sul Ross State, but the inability to create stops on the defensive end in the third and fourth quarters was the difference in those losses. HPU shoots 36.2 percent from the field, and guard Bria Neal is the centerpiece of the offense, ranking second in the league in points per game (17.9).