Slow start leads to loss at HBU

Slow start leads to loss at HBU

HOUSTON, TX (KPLC) – Houston Baptist scored the first five points of the game, rolled off 15 straight to go up 20-2, and never looked back as the Huskies beat McNeese 86-65 here Saturday in a game that has postseason tournament implications.

HBU (11-16, 7-9 SLC) connected on nine of its first 13 shots in building an 18-point lead in the first seven minutes of the game. McNeese fell to 9-20 overall and 5-11 in league play and is in a must-win situation against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Wednesday if it wants to keeps its postseason hopes alive.

Sha’Markus Kennedy scored 14 of his 16 points in the second half but made just 6 of 16 from the field, 1 of 8 in the first half. He added his sixth double-double on the season with James Harvey added 15 points and Jarren Greenwood 12 to round out the double-digit scorers for the Cowboys.

Kennedy also added four blocked shots on the night.

“We missed 12 layups in the first half,” said head coach Heath Schroyer. “We had some point-blank shots that didn’t go down and they got some transition baskets. We were just fighting uphill the whole way.”

Harvey, who was playing with the flu, was penciled in as a starter but was scratched right before lineups were announced because of getting ill.

“He’s been throwing up all day. I think that messed with us a little bit, but make no mistake, they’re a good team. They’re really good here (Sharp Gym).”

McNeese trailed 47-26 at the half but had cut the lead to 13 points at 29-16 with 5:19 to play. That’s when HBU’s Ty Dalton got the hot hand and drained three straight 3s to respond to McNeese’s run with a 9-0 run of their own.

The second half was evenly played for the first 12 minutes as HBU maintained anywhere from a 14-18 point lead while the Cowboys were not able to cut it any closer but kept HBU from extending it. But midway through the second, the Huskies were able to put together another run after capitalizing on McNeese turnovers, and led by as many as 28 late in the frame.

Four HBU players scored in double-figures, led by Dalton’s 20 points who finished the night 6 of 10 from the field and 3 of 6 from long range.

HBU hit 59 percent from the field (34 of 58) and 47 percent from 3-point range (8 of 17) while the Cowboys made just 36 percent of their shots (21 of 58) and was 4 of 14 for 29 percent from long range.

The Huskies held a 38-25 advantage in rebounds but scored just two second-chance points.

One of the few bright spots for the Cowboys came at the free throw line where they knocked down 19 of 21 for 91 percent.

GAME NOTES:

• Will Robinson got his third start of the season and first since the second game of the year against Arizona State.

• It’s the 11th different starting five on the season.

• After falling behind 47-26 at the half, both teams scored 39 points in the second half.

• Sha’Markus Kennedy was 1 of 8 from the field for 2 points in the first half; he knocked down 5 of 8 for 14 points in the second half.

• The loss snapped a three-game winning streak over the Huskies.

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