Above photo by Russell Marwitz/True To The Cru/russellmarwitz.com
BELTON- After playing a schedule that consisted of all but two of its non-conference opponents being from the Lone Star State last season, the UMHB men’s basketball team, fresh off an Elite Eight appearance in the NCAA Tournament, is venturing to the west coast twice as part of the 2022-2023 slate.
In non-conference matchups that have been released in recent weeks, the Crusaders, ranked No. 7 nationally by D3hoops.com in March, are set to face both the University of Redlands and Linfield University by the end of the calendar year.
The Redlands duel comes early in the schedule, on Nov. 9, and is actually the season-opener for the Bulldogs, who are coming off an 11-12 record in 2021-22. That game will be played at the historic Currier Gym in Redlands, California, as the venue has been hosting athletic competition since its opening in 1929. Redlands plays in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC).
Over five weeks later, the Cru will be back on the west coast, this time in McMinnville, Oregon, batting Linfield on Dec 21. A consistent program in the Northwest Conference, the Wildcats went 18-7 overall a year ago, with a 13-3 mark in conference play. In fact, Linfield was the NWC Regular Season Champions, but ran into a poor shooting performance at the NWC Tournament five days later, dropping a decisive 82-79 result against Whitman. It was Linfield’s only home loss of the year. Prior to that, the Wildcats were 11-0 inside Ted Wilson Gymnasium, which seats 1,924 and has been in operation since 1989.
The first dates of conference play were also released for UMHB. The Crusader men and women are set to host rival Hardin-Simmons on Jan. 12 in Belton, with the 5:30 p.m. women’s matchup followed by a 7:30 p.m. men’s contest. The Cru makes the return trip to Abilene in the regular season finale, battling HSU on Feb. 18.
As previously announced, the UMHB men will host the Cru Classic on Dec. 30 and 31 in Belton.
More information will be published on the schedule as more games are released.