Men’s basketball team falls in ASC tournament
Feb27

Men’s basketball team falls in ASC tournament

The Crusader men’s basketball team has had an impressive season full of improvement, finishing with a 20-5 record. They capped off the season with a 28-point win over the Howard Payne Yellow Jackets. After this victory, they headed into the American Southwest Conference championship tournament. UMHB played the East Texas Baptist Tigers in the first round. The Cru played the Tigers earlier in the season and defeated them with a three-point victory. Many fans were expecting this to be a very close game. However, it is almost as if the Cru basketball players heard these whispers and wanted to silence the naysayers. In the beginning of the first half, it almost seemed as if they were right. The Cru’s offense struggled, missing several shots. However, they started heating up and finished the half catching up to the Tigers with a score of 40-33. If the Cru wanted to stay in the game, they could not have another slow start in the second half. The offense did a good job at scoring, but they started to fall behind around four minutes into the second half. They slowly started to chip away at that lead and kept a pretty good pace. The Cru caused two turnovers at the five-minute mark and this was when they decided to put their foot down. The Cru saw their opportunity and capitalized on it. This led to a 90-73 victory for UMHB. This win advanced them into the next round, where they faced the Hardin-Simmons Cowboys in Belton. UMHB fans were filled with excitement as the Cru took the court to play their rival, Hardin-Simmons. The Cru played the Cowboys earlier in the season and defeated them by a whopping 36 points, but the playoffs would be an entirely different story. The Cru had a fast start to the game and caught the lead early on. They held on to this lead, but the Cowboys slowly started to close that gap. The Cru had a few flashes of offense that would distance them from Hardin-Simmons, but the Cowboys kept closing in on the lead. The Cowboys finished the half with a five-point lead. The Cru came out strong and took over the lead at the 18-minute mark, but the Cowboys remained in the fight. These flashes of offense continued in the second half, and the Cru was able to force several lead changes by a few points. Despite these offensive maneuvers, the Cowboys took the lead at the 10-minute mark and did not look back.Ultimately, the Crusaders were defeated by HardinSimmons 97-91. Despite this defeat, the Cru had a great season, and they showed marked improvement from the previous year. As this season comes to a close, fans look forward to what the team has in store next...

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UMHB women’s basketball team earns first NCAA tournament appearance
Feb27

UMHB women’s basketball team earns first NCAA tournament appearance

For the first time in UMHB’s history, the women’s basketball team is headed to the NCAA Divion III tournament. The Crusaders will face Rhodes College on March 1 with the time to be determined. The Cru had a spectacular year, finishing the season with a 23-2 record. Rhodes College finished their regular season with a 14-11 record and won all three games in their conference championship. This impressive record carried the Cru to the postseason this weekend, where they hosted the American Southwest Conference championship tournament. The Cru entered the three-game tournament with high hopes of winning. The Cru’s first game of the tournament was on Thursday, Feb. 21 against Louisiana College. The Cru started the game off strong, and held the lead at the end of the first quarter with a score of 19-13. The Cru was consistent, scoring exactly 19 points in each quarter. They ultimately defeated the Wildcats 76-54. In the second game of the tournament on Friday, Feb. 22, the women played against East Texas Baptist University. The Cru had a rough first quarter. In the first ten minutes of the game, the Tigers scored 23 points and shot 57 percent from the three-point line, while the Cru scored 13 points and only made 22 percent of their shots. At this point, things weren’t looking good for the Cru, but the defense stepped up to keep the Tigers from scoring. In the second quarter, the Cru offense continued to struggle, scoring only 13 points, but the defense held the Tigers to just eight points, keeping the Crusaders in the game. After a hard-fought battle, the Cru edged out the Tigers to win the game 64-62. The final game of the tournament was on Saturday, Feb. 23 against the UT Dallas Comets. The Cru’s offense struggled in this game as well, scoring only 10 points and shooting 18 percent from the field in the first quarter. They also struggled in the rebound column. The Comets out-rebounded the Cru 47-30. The second quarter was different than the previous game in the sense that the offense stepped up instead of the defense. The teams virtually swapped score columns from the previous quarter. The Cru scored 16 points while the Comets only scored 10. Although the offense fought hard, UMHB was ultimately defeated by the Comets 63-58. Although the team did not win the ASC championship tournament, their regular season record was good enough to carry them into the NCAA National Championship bracket. If the Cru defeats Rhodes College, they will still have a long road ahead of them. The Crusaders will have to beat four playoff-caliber teams. It can be done, but it will be difficult. The game will be held at a neutral site in Richardson, which is just south of Plano. This is a two-and-a-half hour commute. If you are unable to attend the game, it will...

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UMHB baseball hopes to bounce back after difficult season
Feb13

UMHB baseball hopes to bounce back after difficult season

The weather is warming up and it is starting to feel like spring. This can only mean one thing: UMHB baseball is back. As a fan, I am feeling optimistic about this season. Head coach Ben Shipp shares this point of view. “I am optimistic. I am excited to see what this year’s roster does. Looking at them during practice I can tell they are hungry. They want this season.” Shipp has been impressed by the team’s commitment to practice, great work ethic and determination. One of the team’s strengths last season was their fielding percentage. Out of the 36 players on last season’s roster, 12 of them had a perfect fielding percentage, and 10 others had a fielding percentage of above .900. When asked how he plans to attain the same success this year, Shipp said, “We had a great season defensively, and a few of the players this year are returners. We felt as if we were lacking at shortstop last year. We had a shortstop last year that left us after 15 games, and this year we have a committed freshman shortstop. We also signed a great defensive freshman first baseman from Round Rock. We have great speed in the outfield, and with the returners, we always hope to see improvement.” Practice makes perfect. This is a saying that still holds true because practice does produce good results. As Shipp stated, the returners are expected to have a great season defensively. The new players can look up to the strong team leaders who have experience and wisdom to share. This year’s roster has seen a large number of freshmen joining the team. When asked if he thinks this could be a detriment to the team, he stated, “No, I don’t feel like it does. Most of the freshmen we have joining us this year are pitchers, and that happens sometimes. They are very talented, and I am confident that they can get the job done.” The Cru kicked off their season on Friday, Feb. 8, in Grand Prairie against the Bulldogs of Texas Lutheran University. Although the team started off strong, earning two runs in the first inning, they were ultimately defeated 9-5. On Saturday, Feb. 9, the Cru played the Tornados of Concordia University at the same location. It was a tough game for UMHB, and the team ultimately lost 10-1. This past Sunday, the Cru faced Hendrix College in Grand Prairie. It was a hard-fought battle all the way to the end, but ultimately, Hendrix got the upper hand and defeated the Cru 6-4. This weekend, the team will face Schreiner University in Kerrville....

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UMHB softball anticipates a successful season
Feb13

UMHB softball anticipates a successful season

Cru softball is in full swing, and fans are excited to see what the team has in store this season. Last season, the team finished with a record of 10-29. The Cru advanced to the American Southwest Conference Championship tournament and finished the championship series 3-1. Despite this loss, the softball team still had an outstanding season, finishing with a 21-8 record in their conference games. They started the season off hot, not allowing more than four runs until the seventh game when they lost by a margin of two points. One of the team’s greatest strengths was their offensive power. The team’s overall batting average was .307, and they had 34 home runs and 225 RBIs. Key pitching and solid defense led the team to a 2.54 ERA, 118 strikeouts and a .964 fielding percentage for the season. Head Coach Larry Hennig, who has coached softball at UMHB since 2010, said, “We’re pretty optimistic every year. We have a good blend of experience and new talent on the roster. I feel like we have the opportunity to do very well this year talent wise. [It] doesn’t look like we have any shortages. The scrimmages looked very well. Our pitchers did great, and the defense also did well. Our offense was a bit up and down during the scrimmage, but that was due to it being the first at-bats of the season. Many people don’t realize we had a good reputation for home runs and we stole over 80-something bases last season. Hopefully, we find the right combination of power and speed this season.” It is hard to gauge whether this year’s team will have similar statistics because the roster has a large number of freshmen. There are 22 players on the roster, 10 of whom are freshmen. However, Hen- nig does not feel as if this will be a detriment because the upperclassmen have stepped up to guide them. He said “The upper- classmen understand that this is the first [time] in a while that they have fresh- men that can step up and fill these roles. In previous years, we had only one or two freshmen, and this year we have several. All they lack is experience. They are great athletes and are very talented. It brought the team much closer with the older players stepping up and guiding the freshmen.” In most sports teams, a leader emerges quickly in the beginning of the season. When asked if there were any particular players that have stepped into a leadership role, Hennig said “There are two, actually. Emily Bounds, our senior catcher, has stepped up to lead the...

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Oklahoma Sooner Kyle Murray has big decisions to make
Jan30

Oklahoma Sooner Kyle Murray has big decisions to make

The chance of a high school athlete playing major league baseball is .4 percent. The odds of a high school athlete playing in the National Football League are .08 percent. The chance of having the opportunity to choose either is slim to none. Kyler Murray from Oklahoma University has achieved this rarity. After playing quarterback for Texas A&M, Kyler Murray decided to take his talents to the baseball diamond for Oklahoma University. He did not play his best right away, but after coming back from a disappointing first season, Murray began to catch the public’s attention. In his second season, he had a .296 batting average with 47 RBIs, 10 stolen bases and 10 home runs. After his second season, he declared for the MLB draft, where he was drafted ninth overall by the Oakland Athletics. In signing his contract, Kyler Murray received a $4.6 million signing bonus. However, Murray wanted to finish his final year of football for the Oklahoma Sooners. Despite being smaller than average for a quarterback at only 5’10, Murray had a fantastic second season playingfor the Oklahoma Sooners. Kyler was in the running for the Heisman Trophy, the award presented annually to the most talented college football player, from the beginning of his second season. As the season progressed, it only solidified his spot in thefront-running for the esteemed trophy. Murray finished the season with over 4,300 passingyards and was responsible for 42 touchdowns. WhileMurray was playing for Texas A&M, coach Kevin Sumlin clocked Kyler’s top speed at 22 miles per hour. This insane speed was responsible for Murray rushing for over 1,000 yards in the season. After another great season, Murray decided to also declare for the NFL draft. This has put him in a difficult situation, because as a quarterback, his team would be very dependent on him, especially if his talent carries over into the NFL. Therefore, he will not be able to play both sports like BoJackson and Deion Sanders did. His ability to translate his talent to the NFL is a big “if”, because, as previously stated, Murray is very small for an NFL quarterback. Furthermore, if you look at the history books of Heisman winners that were draft busts, it is not a positive outlook. A bright side to playing in the NFL is that he will get more endorsement deals and he will be in the spotlightfrom day one. Some fans speculated that his NFL signing contract would be larger, but the Oakland Athletics said that they would match the price that an NFL team is willing to pay for him. In the long run, he would likely...

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