ABILENE, Texas – Hardin-Simmons’ men’s basketball team rallied from a 19-point second-half deficit to force overtime and beat crosstown opponent McMurry, 116-104, on Thursday night at the Mabee Complex.
The Cowboys jumped out to a 15-4 lead in the first five minutes of the game before turning cold the rest of the first half. It let McMurry come back and eventually take a 46-33 lead at halftime. McMurry came out and pushed the lead to a game-high 19 points with 17:54 to play in the game.
HSU then started to chisel away at the big deficit and Will Bartoszek cut it to 62-53 with 11:47 to play. McMurry then hit back-to-back 3-pointers to push the lead back out to 15 points. McMurry still had a 14-point lead at 78-64 with 4:43 to play. HSU then used a 19-8 run to cut the deficit to 86-83.
Freshman Jason Justice hit a 3-pointer to get the Cowboys to two points at 88-86 with 1:21 to play. The Cowboys came up with a defensive stop and fellow freshman Trevion Howell‘s go-ahead 3-pointer rimmed out. Remy Minor gave McMurry a 90-86 lead with :33 to play.
Bartoszek answered with a pair of free throws after he was fouled attacking the basket. The Cowboys then forced a five-second violation and again went to Bartoszek and he was fouled again. The War Hawks had no answer for the junior who scored 26 points and tied the school record with 22 rebounds. He made both free throws and McMurry missed a late shot and the game went to overtime tied at 90.
In the overtime, the Cowboys went 7-of-8 from the floor and 11-of-11 at the free throw line and ran away with the extra period.
HSU had a 28-16 advantage in second-chance points as HSU outrebounded McMurry 54-43 and had 25 offensive rebounds.
Justice had a career-best 30 points and also added a career-best seven assists with just one turnover against the War Hawks full-court pressure. Steven Quinn had 23 points and seven rebounds despite being saddled with foul trouble for a lot of the game.
Elijah Lomas had 33 points to pace the War Hawks. Rob Charles added 19 points and Remy Minor chipped in 17.
HSU is now 15-7 on the season and 10-5 in league play. McMurry fell to 6-16 overall and 5-10 in conference play. The two teams will play again on Saturday at McMurry at 3 p.m.