Senior Andy Spears scored a career-best 29 points and the Hardin-Simmons’ men’s basketball team held off Howard Payne 86-82 in American Southwest Conference action at the Mabee Complex on Monday night.
The first half was a back and forth affair that featured three ties and seven lead changes. HSU went on a 7-0 run from the 4:06 mark of the first half to the 2:26 mark to take the biggest lead of the half at 35-27. However HPU used a 7-0 run of its own late in the half to cut the deficit back to 39-38. Caleb Hogan hit a layup with :25 in the half to give HSU a 41-38 halftime lead.
HPU took a 51-45 lead with 16:51 to play and then HSU went on a 18-0 run over the next five minutes to take a 63-51 lead with 11:54 to play. Charles Sams hit a pair of big 3-pointers in the run and senior Jeff Holland and John Derr combined for eight points in the spurt.
The Jackets then chipped away at the deficit and eventually took the lead at 80-78 with 3:40 to play on a Michael Thompson layup. Bryan Adams free throw with 2:07 to play made it 82-80 and HSU answered with a Spears basket.
HPU turned the ball on the next possession and HSU had the ball with :46 to play. Darius Singletary then drove the lane and hit a runner and then he stole a pass on the next possession and Charles Sams hit a pair of free throws to ice the game.
Spears also added eight rebounds in the game and Holland had 12 points and eight rebounds. Sams and Singletary had 12 points each off the bench and senior guard Derr had a career-high 10 rebounds. Eric Taylor had a career-best 10 assists as the Cowboys had 24 assists on 32 made baskets on the night.
Brandon Gould had 19 points to pace three HPU players in double figures. Christian Davis had 18 points and Bryan Adams had 16 points.
HSU had a 42-30 advantage in the paint in the game and won the battle of the board 40-36. The Cowboys shot 46.4 percent in the game and forced 22 turnovers.
The Cowboys improved to 11-6 overall and 8-3 in league play. Howard Payne fell to 5-11 overall and 3-8 in conference play.
HSU is tied for second place in the ASC West standings and will host Schreiner and Texas Lutheran this weekend at the Mabee Complex.
Information for this story provided by HSU Sports Information.