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Men's Basketball sinks St. Mary's University (MN) in home-opener, 75-71; Bruffey and Hightower combine for 41-points to lead Dallas
IRVING, Texas - The University of Dallas men's basketball team (1-1) secured a hard-fought 75-71 victory over St. Mary's University of Minn. in the home-opener at Maher Athletic Center, as Braeton Hightower and Tanner Bruffey combined for 41-points in triumph for Dallas to open the "Tip-Off Classic."
Dallas was able to separate themselves from St. Mary's (0-1) down the stretch with superior passing, which gave the Crusaders a number of open offensive looks.
When the final buzzer sounded, the Crusaders had amassed 21 assists, compared to just nine for St. Mary's.
The effective passing, led by 5-foot-9 junior guard Drew Assinesi (Pasadena, Calif./La Salle H.S.) -- who dished nine assists -- allowed for Dallas to shoot 51.7-percent (15-of-29) in the first-half and 55.2-percent (16-of-29) in the second half.
On the other end, St. Mary's rattled home 33.3-percent (9-of-27) of their first-half attempts, while improving to a 48.1-percent (13-of-27) mark in the final half.
6-foot-5 junior forward Tanner Bruffey (Lubbock, Texas/ Home School) and 5-foot-9 sophomore guard Braeton Hightower (Owasso, Okla./Owasso H.S.) had stellar offensive performances.
Bruffey was dominant, scoring a game-high 23-points on 10-of-17 from the field, including netting 2-of-5 from beyond the arc. Bruffey also secured seven rebounds (two offensive), notched four assists, a block and two steals in 35-minutes on the court.
Hightower continued to make it rain from downtown, as he made four 3-pointers on 7-of-12 shooting from the field, scoring 18 total points in 27-minutes on the floor.
6-foot-5 freshman forward Aaron Wyatt (Frisco, Texas/Prestonwood Christian Academy) impressed in his home-debut for the Crusaders, shooting a stellar 80-percent (4-of-5) from the field on his way to scoring nine points, which complemented his four rebounds and two blocks in 17-minutes of work.
Dallas was able to maintain a small lead throughout most of the contest, only trailing briefly in the first half.
In the second half, the Crusader made 4-of-8 of their 3-pointer attempts, while St. Mary's went 0-of-8.
In the end, the Dallas emerged the victor on their home floor, notching their first win of the 2011-12 season with the four point, 75-71 triumph.
The two-day Dallas "Tip-Off Classic" will resume on Saturday, Nov. 19, for the Crusaders, as Dallas hosts Howard Payne University at the Maher Athletic Center in a 3 p.m tip.