Hardin-Simmons’ men’s basketball team put up a valiant effort but in the end it was too much Thomas Orr and Mary Hardin-Baylor as the Cru beat the Cowboys 76-67 on Saturday afternoon at the UTD Activities Center in Richardson.
Eric Taylor’s free throws with 6:39 to play pulled Hardin-Simmons to a 57-56 deficit but over the next two trips Orr’s hit back-to-back 3-pointers from well behind the arc with time running out on the shot clock to give the Cru a 63-56 lead with 5:18 to play.
Charles Sams cut the Cowboy deficit to 70-67 with :42 to play on a 3-pointer. The Cru hit six straight free throws in the final :33 seconds as the Cowboys were forced to foul and missed on three-straight 3-point attempts.
UMHB jumped out to an early 16-7 lead but the Cowboys responded with an immediate 12-0 run in the first half to take a 19-16 lead. HSU had its biggest lead of the game at 27-20 late in the first half. UMHB finished the half on a 7-2 run that ended with a James Allen 3-pointer with :04 to play for a 33-31 UMHB lead at the intermission.
Neither team led by more than four points in the second half before Orr’s back-to-back 3-pointers.
Derr had 24 points and he hit six 3-pointers for the Cowboys. Eric Taylor added 15 points, six rebounds and six assists and Andy Spears had 14 points.
Orr put on an offensive display for the Cru with 22 second-half points and a total of 34. Brian Todd had 14 points and James Allen added 10 for UMHB.
HSU ended its season with a record of 16-11. The Cru will play for the ASC Championship at 2 p.m. on Sunday and they improved to 23-4.
The game was the final game for four HSU seniors -- Derr, Spears, Bernard Stiggers and Jeff Holland.