Belton, TX – The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor men's basketball team grabbed control of the game in the second half and then held off Schreiner's comeback bid as the Cru posted a 79-74 victory over the Mountaineers Thursday night in Belton. The 5th-ranked UMHB men improve to 23-1 overall and 19-1 in American Southwest Conference play. The loss drops the Mountaineers to 12-12 overall and 10-10 in the ASC on the season.
Schreiner led 36-35 at halftime after hitting 7-11 from three-point range. UMHB used a Greg Wiernas free-throw and James Allen three-pointer to take a 39-36 lead early in the second half and the Cru took its first double-digit lead when Kitrick Bell hit two freebies to make it 54-43 with 10:43 remaining. UMHB pushed the lead to as many as 14 points at 57-43 and was up 72-62 with 3:08 to go before the Mountaineers started to chip away. Ethan Catalani converted a four-point play with 1:11 on the clock to pull Schreiner to within two at 74-72. Brian Todd converted a three-point play of his own with 38 seconds on the clock before Catalani hit a jumper with 16 seconds left to make it 77-74. James Allen iced the game with 13 seconds left and Bell rebounded Darren Smith's three-point try with eight seconds remaining as UMHB ran out the clock for the victory.
Allen led the Cru with 14 points and he was 4-7 from three-point range. Bell added 13 points and nine rebounds and Todd also reached double figures with 10 for UMHB. Greg Wiernas pulled down a team-best 10 rebounds as UMHB out rebounded Schreiner 47-36. The Cru shot 40 percent from the field and went 16-21 from the free throw line.
Smith led the Mountaineers with 34 points as he hit 9-12 from three-point range. Travis Pflughaupt added 14 points and a game-best 12 rebounds and Catalani scored 13 points. Schreiner shot 41 percent from the field and went 12-23 from beyond the arc.
The victory also clinches the best regular season record in the history of the UMHB men's basketball program. The 2007-08 team went 22-3 in the regular season to set the previous mark.
The Cru will close out the regular season with a 3:00 PM tip-off at Texas Lutheran University on Saturday in Seguin. The UMHB men will then return home to host the ASC Championship Tournament February 24-26. The Cru locked up the West Division title and the right to host the tournament last week.