Levi's Big Day spoiled by Rhodes after 2nd Half Explosion

Levi tops his own personal-best in scoring, while delivering either top or near top team totals in most stat categories.
Levi tops his own personal-best in scoring, while delivering either top or near top team totals in most stat categories.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The University of Dallas men's basketball team was unable to contain the third highest scoring offense in the nation for two halves on Sunday, as Rhodes College erupted for a 65-point second and held onto a 104-95 victory.

Dallas went into the break leading 46-39, and had held the Lynx to just 30 percent shooting from the field. This also included 6-of-24 shooting from three. In the next 20 minutes, Rhodes made six treys again, but this time improved to 53.8 percent field goal shooting and had a quartet of players notch double figures that frame alone. The difference in the contest was 16 of the last 22 points counting for the Lynx, who improved to 6-5 on the season. The Crusaders dropped consecutive games for the first time this season and are now 7-3 overall.  

Spencer Levi (St. Louis, Mo.) produced a remarkable all-around performance headlined by his highest scoring total of 30 points. He tied his career-best shooting display with 12-of-13 from the field and went 6-for-7 at the free throw line. In addition, the freshman led the guests in rebounds (13), tied a team-high in blocks (4) and steals (2), and was second in assists (5).

HOW IT HAPPENED

It was a hot start for the Crusaders, with three layups to get out to a 6-2 edge in the first two minutes. After leading 10-9, they tallied the next nine points to gain a double-digit lead with 12:13 remaining in the stanza. John Russell (Bossier City, La.) had the final two field goals in that UD stretch, while Joshua Nunn (St. Louis, Mo.) put in a free throw between the pair of baskets.

Rhodes chipped away over the next four minutes and pulled within three (23-20) after Jake Nestlehutt made a trifecta. Vaughn Samson had the previous Rhodes' field goal for three to make it a two possession game moments ago. His layup with seven until intermission made it a two-point game (25-23).

Darrius Colvin (Waco, Texas) answered with a layup on the fastbreak and then Levi followed a miss by the Lynx with a dunk to make it a six-point margin. That field goal for Levi was one of the next three for the forward as he scored UD's next seven points. Between his big slams, the rookie got fouled on a made layup and finished the old fashioned three-point play. Prince Giadolor (Rockwall, Texas) stretched the edge to nine (38-29) with 4:23 left on a fastbreak score.

However, the Lynx quickly were back to within three (42-39) after a 10-4 run over the next three minutes. UD earned the last four points on free throws by Nunn and a layup by Giadolor in the closing ticks on the clock to go into halftime up by seven. The Crusaders scored 24 points that half on the fastbreak.

Rhodes swung the momentum in the next half going up as many as nine (70-61) in the first seven minutes of play. Three-pointers by Anesu Nyawata and Owen Galvin started and capped eight unanswered points for the Lynx.

Down eight UD used a pair of free throws by Giadolor and Nunn and dunk by Levi to nip the gap to 72-70 about midway to go. Two minutes later a Levi Dunk put the Crusaders up 77-76. Colvin responded to a Rhodes score with one of his own.

This contest featured 11 lead changes and four ties. Galvin's go-ahead points was one of the swaps with seven minutes remaining, and lifted Rhodes up until Giadolor knotted the game at 3:41 at the charity stripe. His second from there made it 88-all.

The home team trailed briefly with 3:16 left as Levi split at the line, but nine unanswered gave Rhodes a final push above to 97-89 with 2:08 minutes. Eventually a 15-4 run sent the Lynx to their greatest lead of 11 points.

Russell scored a jumper with 1:51 to cut the score to 97-91 and gave the Crusaders their most points since netting 90 at Hendrix College in an earlier road game this season.

STAT NOTABLES

Levi claimed 17 points in the second half with perfect shooting (6-6) from the floor and was 5-for-6 shooting free throws. His 13 boards – one away from most on season - allowed him to claim his sixth double-double. Giadolor (16), Russell (14), Colvin (13), and Nunn (12) all had double figures. Nunn's total was a personal-best. Colvin was shy a rebound of a double-double with nine, and handed out six assists.

The Crusaders shot 60.8 percent from the field. They missed their only two attempts from three, and knocked down 73.3 percent at the free throw line. UD was edged 40-39 on the boards. The Crusaders scored 62 points in the paint, while Rhodes etched 44 down low. The visitors did hold a 32-2 advantage in fastbreak points. 28 turnovers hurt Dallas, as the Lynx scored 30 points off the miscues.

11 different players contributed to Rhodes' triple-digit score. Nyawata paced the team with 20, including 9-of-11 in free throws. Samson tossed in 17 with a 3-for-4 field goal result from deep. From the bench Preston Giroux chimed in with 16 and Galvin followed with 15. Nestlehutt rounded out the quintet of scorers in double figures with 12. All his points were from four treys. Daniel Darst posted eight points and rebounds (team-high).

TIP-INS

33 made free throws counted as a season-high and was four shy of the team game record set just under two years ago versus Austin College (Jan. 2nd).

UD garnered nine blocked shots for the second most on the season. Levi and Colvin each came up with four. Levi has achieved at least four three times now, and Colvin matched a career-high from last season against Texas Lutheran University (Jan. 8th).

The last time Dallas did not connect on a three-pointer was against Rhodes last January 2nd at the Maher Center. In that game, the Crusaders did not make a single attempt.

SOCIAL MEDIA

UP NEXT

Dallas begins 2018 with Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) play resuming. First up is Trinity University on January 5th with a 5:30 p.m. tip. The next day, UD is at Schreiner University with a start time scheduled at 4 p.m.