Despite trailing 48-27 at halftime, McMurry University rallied and topped Dallas Baptist University, 75-73, Saturday afternoon in Heartland Conference action at Ron Holmes Court at Kimbrell Arena.
"The players get every bit of the credit," McM head coach Clif Carroll said following the win. "They fought and fought and fought. To overcome that sort of a deficit is pretty impressive. I'm proud of them and of the effort they put forth."
After intermission McM gradually chipped away at DBU's lead. Senior Alfred Perez (Spring, Texas/Klein Collins HS) hit a free throw with 4:02 remaining in regulation to give the War Hawks a 68-67 lead – their first of the game.
Moments later Jason Gentry converted a pair of free throws to momentarily put DBU (7-11, 4-7 HC) back in front, 69-68.
However, McM grabbed the lead right back.
Moments later Junior Alex Lewis (Converse, Texas/Temple College) converted a pair from the charity stripe and senior Kourtney Goff (Rochester, N.Y./Southern Illinois University) hit a jumper in the lane to seize control of the game. The War Hawks' defense held true and forced an errant shot as time expired to secure the win.
"Our mentality was different in the second half," said the 6-foot-8 Perez, who scored 16 points and hauled in seven rebounds. "Everything starts with defense and that's what coach (Carroll) is always preaching to us. We turned defense into offense and that's why we won this game."
Goff credits the team's ability to work together and communicate as a key reason for the win.
"This was a team win," said Goff, who scored a team-high 18 points. "We did a good job of getting the matchups we wanted in the second half. If Alfred (Perez) was open we gave it to him, if one of the guards had an opportunity we capitalized on it. I'm proud of this team right now. A lot of teams would quit in that situation, but we believe in this team and know what we can do."
Brandon Golden (Austin, Texas/Coastal Bend College) and Lewis each scored 12 points. Jordan Holmes (Silsbee, Texas/Silsbee HS) helped out with four points.
Jonathan Perry scored a game-high 22 points to lead the Patriots.
McM forced eight turnovers and turned it into 18 points, while DBU forced 11 turnovers and only turned it into 11 points.
The War Hawks (10-10, 5-6), winners of two straight, hit the road next weekend with Heartland Conference games at Oklahoma Panhandle State University and Newman University.
Information provided by McMurry Athletics.