|Texas Lutheran athletics photo|
SEGUIN, Texas – Hardin-Simmons' men's basketball team made a successful debut trip to the NCAA Division III Tournament as the Cowboys defeated Texas Lutheran 97-81 in the first round on Thursday night from Memorial Gym in Seguin.
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Hardin-Simmons used another strong shooting night hitting 64.8 percent of its shots. HSU was 17-for-30 in the first half and improved to 18-of-24 in the second half. The Cowboys hit 11 3-pointers, marking the ninth time in the last 10 games they reached double digits.
The early going featured four lead changes and four ties and the HSU took the lead for good at 20-19 at the 10:27 mark on a Nathaniel Jack jumper. HSU used an 18-4 run to go from down 19-15 to up 33-23 with 3:42 to play in the first half. The Cowboys led 43-31 at halftime.
Both teams came out hot to start the second half and TLU eventually cut the deficit to 66-60. HSU then received seven straight points from Dashun Dixon to push the lead back to 73-60. The Cowboys continued to build on the lead from there.
Christian O'Neal led five Cowboys in double figures with 21 points and he added eight assists. Caleb Spoon hit five 3-pointers in the game and finished with 20 points and he tied the school record for 3-pointers made in a season with 83.
Dixon had 17 points, including 13 in the second half, Justin Jones had 15 points and Jack had his 16th double-double of the year with 13 points, 12 rebounds and he also added five assists.
Harris Jowell and Sterling Holmes scored 16 points each for TLU and all five starters reached double figures.
The Cowboys are now 19-10 on the year and the Bulldogs end their season at 21-7.
HSU will play at No. 2 Benedictine on Saturday night at 7 p.m. in Lisle, Ill.
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