Hardin-Simmons’ men’s basketball team fought off a late rally from East Texas Baptist in a 78-74 American Southwest Conference win on Thursday night at Ornelas Gym in Marshall.
The Cowboys jumped out to a 10-2 lead in the early going and led most of the first half and eventually led 32-30 at halftime.
In the second half, ETBU finally took the lead at 42-41 with 14:36 to play on an Erby Thompson layup. HSU then went on a 15-5 run to take its biggest lead of the game at 56-47.
ETBU immediately responded with a 12-2 run to take the lead back at 59-58 with 6:04 to play. Matt Sinclair hit a pair of free throws and John Derr hit a 3-pointer to give the Cowboys the lead back and they never relinquished it again.
Derr hit another 3-pointer and back-to-back layups by Titus Mims made it 71-63 with 2:26 to play. HSU held off a late surge by the Tigers to earn the win.
HSU’s defense blocked seven shots and the Cowboys had a 48-26 advantage on the boards. ETBU stayed in the game because the Cowboys had 27 turnovers that turned into 33 points for the Tigers.
The Cowboys had four players in double figures with Eric Taylor leading the way with 16 points and Sinclair added 15 points. Titus Mims had 13 points and 10 rebounds and Darius Singletary had 10 points, eight rebounds and five assists.
Junior Mitchell led ETBU with 16 points and Chris Collins added 14 points and Monty Grays had 13 for the Tigers.
HSU is now 4-1 on the year and 3-0 in ASC action. ETBU fell to 2-5 overall and 0-4 in ASC play. The Cowboys return to action on Saturday at 3 p.m. at Texas-Tyler.
Information for this story provided by HSU Sports Information.