The Best of Belton CRU Hoops Preview: UMHB men’s, women’s basketball hosts Concordia (TX)

Your weekly look at the schedule ahead for CRU Basketball presented by The Best of Belton

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Follow the action

Date/Time: Jan. 21,  1 p.m. (women), 3 p.m. (men) 

Place: Mayborn Campus Center on the campus of the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor

Watch: https://portal.stretchinternet.com/umhb/

Women

Concordia (TX)

Head Coach: Matt Wallis (9th season)

Conference: American Southwest (ASC)

Overall Record: 7-8

ASC Record: 4-5

Best Win: vs Sul Ross State, 65-62

Leading scorer: Havyn Perez (10.9 PPG)

#23 UMHB

Head Coach: Mark Morefield (8th season)

Conference: American Southwest (ASC)

Overall Record: 12-4

ASC Record: 7-2

Best Win: @ Emory, 63-59

Leading scorer: Arieona Rosborough (14.1 PPG)

Men

Concordia (TX)

Head Coach: Stan Bonewitz (17th season)

Conference: American Southwest (ASC)

Overall Record: 9-6

ASC Record: 6-3

Best win: vs Mary Hardin-Baylor, 81-77

Leading scorer: Jaylon Johnson (19.1 PPG)MBB:

#24 UMHB

Head Coach: Clif Carroll (3rd season)

Conference: American Southwest (ASC)

Overall Record: 12-4

ASC Record: 7-2

Best Win: @ Whitworth, 93-74

Leading scorer: Josiah Johnson (23.3 PPG)

In the Polls

The UMHB women remained ranked, dropping back three spots in the D3hoops.com Top 25 after going 1-1 against Hardin-Simmons and McMurry last week. The Cru are now No. 23. In the WBCA Poll, UMHB is ranked No. 19. 

The Crusader men broke back into the D3hoops.com Top 25 after a multi-week absence, at No. 24. 

MBB: Strong on the offensive end 

The Concordia men’s team’s strength is on the offensive end, where the Tornadoes have led the league in points per game, at 87.8. UMHB is not far behind, at 84.2 per game, which is likely to lead to an offense-dominated contest. The Tornadoes are very balanced in terms of their scoring production, with five players averaging double figures in points. Jaylon Johnson is at the centerpoint of the attack, with 19.1 points per game, which ranks eighth in the ASC. 

MBB: Limiting the turnovers will be a primary objective for UMHB

One of the ways Concordia has worked to create offense is through its ability to force turnovers and come up with steals, leading to fast-break points. Opponents have turned the ball over at least 15 times in each of the Tornadoes’ last three games, and Concordia also has averaged 9.33 steals per contest. In last Thursday’s 111-108 overtime win over McMurry, they tallied 19 points off turnovers. 

UMHB, however, has been fairly consistent when it comes to taking care of the ball, with the league’s best assist/turnover ratio (1.35) and turnover margin (3.56). The Cru has turned the ball over an average of 13 times per game, but forced 16 of their own. 

WBB: Concordia’s strength? It’s defense

Concordia’s offense ranks eighth in the ASC in points per game (60.1), seventh in field goal percentage (35.5%) and ninth in three-point percentage (27%). But where the Tornadoes have won games is on the defensive end, limiting their opponents to a shooting percentage of just 33.1% and a three-point percentage of 26%. Both rank as the top marks in the league heading into Saturday’s action. 

Chelsea Cogburn is sixth in the conference in blocks, with 15 this season, and Havyn Perez ranks seventh in steals, with 29. Both are key factors in Concordia’s defensive pressure. 

WBB: Look for UMHB to win the battle on the offensive glass

UMHB has been far and away the ASC’s top offensive rebounding team, pulling down an average of 18.4 per game, which creates a number of extended offensive possessions and additional scoring opportunities. The last time the Cru and Tornadoes squared off, UMHB pulled down 18 offensive rebounds leading to 23 second-chance points in a 78-57 road win. By comparison, Concordia had just four offensive boards. The Cru’s average is not only the best in the league, but also the sixth-best in the country. Arieona Rosborough, Weade Adeleke, and Ashley Faux all rank in the ASC’s Top 15 in total offensive rebounds.

As a reminder, all admission to UMHB games at the Mayborn Center are free to the public.

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