Previewing this week’s action for the UMHB men’s and women’s basketball teams presented by The Best of Belton
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No. 9/10 UMHB WBB
Head Coach: Mark Morefield
Conference: American Southwest (ASC)
Overall Record: 4-0
Best Win: @ Emory, 63-59
Leading scorer: Arieona Rosborough (15.3 PPG)
No. 24 UMHB MBB
Head Coach: Clif Carroll
Conference: American Southwest (ASC)
Overall Record: 2-2
Best Win: @ Pomona Pitzer, 84-71
Leading scorer: Josiah Johnson (23.3 PPG)
Follow the action
Date/Time: December 8, 5:30 pm (Women), 7:30 pm (Men)
Place: Solheim Arena, Longview, Texas
Date/Time: December 10, 1:00 pm (Women), 3:00 pm (Men)
Place: Ornelas Gym, Marshall, Texas
About the opponent (Women)
LeTourneau enters Thursday’s matchup in the midst of a four-game losing skid, having faced four very solid programs in Schreiner and Trinity in non-conference play, and Hardin-Simmons and McMurry in ASC play. The Yellowjackets are led by freshman Johnai Wimbleduff, forward from Indianapolis, Indiana, who is averaging 16.1 points per game and shooting 47 percent from the field. LeTourneau’s best win came on Nov. 19, when the Yellowjackets beat Dallas, 80-78.
ETBU head coach Blake Arbogast has had the tough task of replacing a number of key seniors who graduated following the 2021-22 season. Yet, ETBU remains in the national conversation, entering this week’s slate with a 5-2 record, 1-1 in ASC play. The Tigers beat McMurry on the road, 76-51, last week, before falling to Hardin-Simmons, 81-65. Jade Goynes, Bridget Upton, and Brooke Webster are all experienced players who each average double figures in points, with Goynes leading the way at 17.1 per game.
About the opponent (Men)
LeTourneau and UMHB battled in last year’s ASC championship game, with the Crusaders winning 99–82. The two also had a memorable meeting during the regular season on UMHB’s last trip to Longview, as Josiah Johnson connected on a game-winning three-pointer at the buzzer, lifting the Cru to a 79-77 victory. Leading scorer Andrew Eberhardt graduated following last season, but Deonte Jackson has remained a key piece of the roster, averaging 26.3 points per game. LETU is 0-2 in ASC play, and 3-4 overall, with its best win coming on Nov. 26, in an 82-75 win at Schreiner.
ETBU is off to a strong start, at 5-1 overall, and 2-0 in conference action, entering the week. A narrow two-point loss to St. Thomas (TX), who is receiving votes in the D3hoops.com Top 25, on Nov. 15 turned heads, and the Tigers have followed with four consecutive victories. Last week, they went on the road and came away with a convincing 80-77 win at Hardin-Simmons, which should give them confidence heading into this week’s action against formidable opponents in Concordia and UMHB. 6’7 forward Darry Moore is the star of the offensive attack, averaging 22.5 points per game.
UMHB is 19-9 all-time against LETU on the men’s side, though the Crusaders are just 3-7 in the last 10 meetings. Those three wins have come in consecutive order, all during last season, in which UMHB beat the Yellowjackets twice at home, and once on the road. The women’s team also has a win streak in this series, having won the last eight meetings between the two programs. In Longview, the Crusaders are 9-2.
The Crusader women are 19-11 since 2003 against the Tigers, having posted a 7-4 record in Marshall, and 7-3 mark in the last 10 contests. On the men’s side, the Cru is 19-11 against the Tigers since 2002, and 6-4 in the last 10 matchups. UMHB has lost two of its last three contests in Marshall, including last year’s duel.
Last time out
Despite trailing 35-34 at the half to Concordia on Saturday, the UMHB women found a rhythm, and pulled away for a 78-57 win behind a strong second half. Payton Hicks had a team-best 16 points on a 7-of-10 shooting day. The Cru also turned the ball over just 11 times.
In a tight battle with Concordia to open ASC play, the UMHB men took a 43-40 lead into halftime, but the Tornadoes responded with a strong second half offensively, outscoring UMHB 41-34. It was back-and-forth down the stretch, though a string of three-pointers were enough for Concordia to take the lead and never give it back. Josiah Johnson had 22 points for the Cru.
In the Polls
The UMHB women moved from No. 13 to No. 10 in the D3hoops.com Top 25, the result of a 2-0 week that featured a pair of road wins. The Crusaders are also No. 9 in the WBCA Poll.
The men dropped from No. 9 to No. 24 with the four-point loss at Concordia, but remain ranked through the first two D3hoops.com Top 25 polls of this season.