Hot start helps lift Pioneers to fifth win in six games - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Hot start helps lift Pioneers to fifth win in six games

Provided by Wayland Baptist University

As satisfying as Friday night's come-from-behind victory was for the Wayland Baptist Pioneers, on Saturday afternoon they opted to go with a less dramatic, though no less thrilling, route to victory.

Wayland scored the first 13 points of the game and led by 30 points in the first half on its way to a 78-62 victory over Sul Ross State University in the final game of the Pioneer Holiday Classic at Hutcherson Center.

Theo Hatcher recorded his third straight double-double and Wayland's sizzling start helped the Pioneers to their fifth win in six games. Hatcher ended with 24 points and 12 rebounds for the Pioneers (9-5) while Tanner Hazelbaker added 23 points and Juhreece Thompson got 12 points and eight boards.

Wayland scored the game's first 13 points and ultimately went ahead 31-4 before Sul Ross State (3-8) scored its first field goal with just under nine minutes remaining before halftime.

The Pioneers, who rallied from 17 points Friday night to defeat Texas Lutheran, were up by as many as 30, 43-13, in the first half before settling for a 45-19 intermission lead. Sul Ross never got closer than 14 points in the second half.

Juston Weldon scored 20 points to lead SRSU. Trey Richardson added 16 and Chuck Williams 10.

Wayland dominated the boards, outrebounding the Lobos, 51-25.

The Pioneers shot 55 percent (18-of-33) from the field in the first half and ended the game at 48 percent (30-of-63). WBU hit 14-of-17 free throws (82 percent), including a perfect 8-of-8 by Hazelbaker, while knocking down 4-of-13 from 3-point range.

Wayland returns to Sooner Athletic Conference play next week, hitting the road to take on St. Gregory's at 8 p.m. Thursday and Oklahoma Baptist at 3 p.m. Saturday in the backend of doubleheaders with the Flying Queens. WBU has played one conference opponent, Lubbock Christian, on the road Dec. 4. Both Wayland teams lost.

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