ABILENE, Texas – McMurry Men’s Basketball had a dramatic American Southwest Conference rematch with East Texas Baptist on Saturday, as the Tigers avenged an earlier home loss by stealing a 78-76 win from the War Hawks in Abilene. 

Much like McMurry’s 82-74 win over the Tigers earlier this season, Saturday’s rematch had some dramatics.  

Tied 76-76 in the final minute, ETBU (9-8, 7-5 ASC) sank two free throws on separate trips to take a 78-76 lead. With three seconds to go, the Tigers missed the back end of its two free throws, allowing McMurry to call its final timeout and regroup. CJ LeBlanc got a contested look at the buzzer, but his potential game-winner missed off the glass. 

The lead changed seven times and the score was tied 17 different times. McMurry (6-9, 4-6 ASC) rarely trailed in the first half, but played from behind early in the second half. It was a back-and-forth affair the rest of the way with McM last leading at the 1:09 mark thanks to a layup by Devon Webb. 

McMurry had a strong defensive showing at the perimeter, forcing ETBU to go 3-16 from behind the arc for 18.8 percent. Meanwhile, the War Hawks finished 7-20 from downtown (35.0 percent) and also shot 15-21 from the line (71.4 percent). 

The Tigers found their advantage from the field, going 32-69 for 46.4 percent. McMurry finished 27-63 for 42.9 percent. 

LeBlanc led the War Hawks with 20 points and four assists, while sophomore TJ Hilliard made his first appearance since Jan. 8 and chipped in 18 points and seven rebounds. Remy Minor added 10 points and three helpers. Colby Cork led the team with seven rebounds.  

LeBlanc and Matt Pena accounted for all seven triples, combining to go 7-16 behind the arc. 

ETBU had four scorers in double figures, led by Darry Moore with 16 points and eight boards. 

McMurry starts a long, six-game road stretch with Concordia Texas on Thursday, Jan. 27 at 7:30 p.m. in Austin.