ABILENE, Texas – With the majority of the nonconference schedule behind them, the McMurry University men’s basketball team opens American Southwest Conference play Saturday at crosstown rival Hardin-Simmons University.
Tipoff at Mabee Complex is scheduled for 3 p.m. following the conclusion of the women’s game. Live stats and video links will also be available at mcmurrysports.com.
LAST TIME OUT: McMurry picked up a convincing nonconference win Tuesday night inside Kimbrell Arena, defeating visiting Southwestern University, 80-59.
BALANCED EFFORT: Senior forward Mike Williams Jr. led four War Hawks in double figures Tuesday with 14 points in just 14 minutes. No player played more than 26 minutes as 10 different players scored. Four players also had seven or more rebounds. Six players are averaging more than 9.0 point per game this season.
GETTING DEFENSIVE: The War Hawks held the Pirates to just 30.3 percent shooting from the field Tuesday night, including just 21.9 percent in the first half. It is the second lowest mark of the season, as McM held Schreiner to just 30.2 percent shooting in their other win this season.
STATISTICAL LEADERS: Williams Jr. continues to pace the offense at 12.3 points per game, while senior forward Krishawn Terry (11.1), freshman guard Cody LeBlanc (10.7) and junior guard Khalil Butler (10.2) also average double figures. Butler leads the team on the glass at 8.5 boards per game.
ASC LEADERS: Butler, LeBlanc, junior guard Colin Taylor and Williams all rank in the top 10 in the ASC in free throw percentage, with Butler leading the league. Williams is third with 1.3 blocks per game and second in offensive rebounds (3.3), while Butler is third in defensive rebounds (6.3).
SCOUTING HSU: The Cowboys enter Saturday’s tilt at 4-3 after falling 88-80 on the road at Southwestern. Guard Kyle Brennon tops the Cowboys with 16.7 points per game, with three others averaging double figures. Guard Chris Barrett leads the ASC in steals (3.3) and assist to turnover ratio (3.6). Barrett is also HSU’s leading rebounder at 8.0 per contest.
LAST YEAR: The War Hawks blitzed the Cowboys in the first half of last year’s meeting at Mabee Complex, leading 43-24 at the break. McMurry would then hold on for a 75-70 win. Hardin-Simmons won inside Kimbrell Arena for a season split.
THE SERIES: McMurry trails 51-45 in a tight series, with the teams splitting the last four matchups.