UAFS held McMurry to just 26 points in the second half last Thursday night to pull away for a 75-66 Heartland Conference win at the Stubblefield Center.
After starting the conference season with consecutive road losses, the Lions (13-3, 6-2) have become the hottest team in the league, winning six consecutive games to climb back into contention for a second consecutive, regular season conference title.
It was the only meeting of the season between UAFS and McMurry (8-9, 3-5), which is a provisional member of NCAA Division II.
UAFS only led 41-40 at halftime, but the Lions turned up the intensity on defense in the final 20 minutes. After making 14 of 32 shots from the field in the first half, McMurry made only 10 of 28 attempts in the second half.
The War Hawks finished the game shooting 40 percent from the field (24 for 60). They were just 5-for-20 shooting from 3-point range and only 13-for-27 shooting from the free-throw line.
Still, three War Hawks scored in double-figures. Brandon Golden came off the bench to score a team-high 19 points, while Alfred Perez chipped in 13 points and Alex Lewis added 10 points.
UAFS out-rebounded McMurry by seven rebounds (43-36). Perez led the War Hawks with seven rebounds.
The Lions shot 45 percent from the field (24 for 53) – they were just 3-for-10 shooting from 3-point range – and shot 63 percent from the free-throw line (24 for 38).
Junior guard Blake Branham provided a spark for the Lions off the bench with 18 points, while sophomore forward Kenny Martin had 15, freshman guard Alex Cooper had 13 and senior guard Xavier McClish had 10.
Martin topped off his double-double with 13 rebounds, and junior forward Miha Glavas just missed a double-double with 12 rebounds and eight points. Martin also had a team-high five blocked shots.
UAFS 75, MCMURRY 66
McMurry 40 26 — 66
UAFS 41 34 — 75
McMurry (8-9, 3-5): Golden 19, Perez 13, Lewis 10, Goff 8, Adams 6, Robinson 6, Holmes 2, Webb 2
UAFS (13-3, 6-2): Branham 18, Martin 15, Cooper 13, McClish 10, Glavas 8, Youngblood 6, Copeland 3, Franklin 2