• by Travis Hendryx •
ALPINE, Texas- Hardin-Simmons University fought off a late second half rally and defeated Sul Ross by an 83-80 count in American Southwest Conference action Thursday evening at the Gallego Center.
Tristen Licon led the effort with 22 points while freshman Jack Kirkpatrick finished with 15 points.
Sul Ross started the outing off with a three-pointer by Jola Otubu following the opening tip off.
Conner Dawson then broke a 3-3 tie with a mid-range jumper with 19:14 left in the first half.
The Cowboys recovered and went on to hold a seven-point lead off a three-point basket by Jalen Terry at the 14:27 mark.
Jezreel Griffin then cut Sully’s deficit to two off a triple at 13:33 before Hardin-Simmons pounced on a 12-0 run and led 26-12 with 9:01 remaining until the half.
The visitors broke out to a pair of 20-point leads down the remaining stretch of the half and went to intermission leading 46-29.
The Cowboys held the reigns tight over the first eight minutes of the second half and sported a 22-point, 66-44 lead at the 12:02 mark.
Hardin-Simmons held a double digit lead over the next nine minutes of regulation before a three-pointer by B.J. Hollis narrowed the Lobo deficit to nine at 2:41.
A layup by Kirkpatrick at 24 seconds cut the Cowboy lead to two, 80-78 before a pair of free throws by Joe Hoeup spread the gap to four.
Following a jumper in the paint by Licon at 10 seconds, Hoeup scored the final basket with five seconds left and secured the 83-80 Hardin-Simmons victory.
Otubu finished the game with 13 points while Gary Ringo, JR tallied 12.
Sul Ross drops to 10-12 on the season and 5-8 in league action. Hardin-Simmons improves to 13-10 and 8-6.
The Lobos will celebrate senior day on Saturday in Sully’s final home game of the 2018-19 season. McMurry visits the Gallego Center for a 3:00 p.m. ASC tip with live coverage on the Sul Ross Sports Network.