Late 1st Half Run Hard to Overcome for Crusaders in Road Setback to Millsaps

Crusaders finish road trip 1-3, after Millsaps pulls away late in first half.
Crusaders finish road trip 1-3, after Millsaps pulls away late in first half.

JACKSON, Miss. – The University of Dallas men's basketball team was unable to keep up with Millsaps College on Sunday evening in a 91-63 setback to conclude the Thanksgiving Tournament. Dallas was outshot 54.7 percent to 34.0 percent from the field, and the Majors (5-0) kept their unblemished record intact thanks to a 16-0 run late in the first half. Millsaps also used a 45-29 rebounding difference to help score 15 more second chance points (17-2) than UD.

Michael Wambsganss (Denver, Colo.) led the Crusaders with 18 points to match his season-best from the other day in the Hangar Dome and Joshua Nunn added 13 to lead the Crusaders (1-3) in scoring.

Down early in the game, Dallas took a 9-5 advantage with the first baskets coming from three-pointers. Dustin Mathis (Fort Worth, Texas) had two of the treys with Nunn drilling his between the sophomore's.

After Millsaps made it a one-point deficit, UD got consecutive layups by Rashid Coombs (Houston, Texas) and John Russell (Bossier City, La.) to stretch the lead to 17-12 with about 12 minutes left in the opening half.

The Crusaders led by as many as five midway through the first stanza. Up 21-17, the home team got three points from Zachary Tullos on an old fashioned three-point play. James Turner added a free throw to tie the contest. Dallas' Uniikye Washington (Arlington, Texas) came up with his only points with a layup to put the guests back up 23-21, and then drained a trifecta to answer Millsaps' triple and knot things at 26 with 5:47 remaining until the break.

After that juncture marked the turning point of the game, as the Majors rattled off an 18-5 run to close the half. This included 16 points in a row. Wambsganss notched all of Dallas' points in that span. A three-pointer by the team's top scorer ended the drought at 1:27.

Dallas trailed 44-31 at intermission.

Millsaps kept the momentum out of the break, as 12 straight points expanded the lead to 23. Wambsganss knocked down three-pointers before and after that scoring streak. He finished 4-for-9 from downtown, as Dallas made 8-of-23 overall from behind the arc.

Coombs got the gap under 20 with 9:20 left on a dunk. However, the Majors were too much offensively by outscoring Dallas 47-32 in the last half.

Part of the Majors' strong offense on the night was their 12-for-23 (52.2 percent) result in three-pointers. They also used their size advantage to boast a 42-14 edge in points in the paint. The bench also came up big with 63 points compared to 17 by Dallas.

The Crusaders did force a 14-10 edge in turnovers, as they committed a season-low. This was the first game of the season that they did not tally at least 20 points from the free throw line. They were off one as they shot 19-for-29 (65.5 percent) as a unit. Nunn went 8-of-9 at the stripe and Wambsganss contributed a 4-for-5 mark.

Behind the pair of double-digit scorers for Dallas was Russell with nine. Letrell Toussaint (Waco, Texas) and Washington came off the bench to lead UD on the boards with six and five, respectively.

Millsaps was led by Tullos with 11 points and eight boards. Michael Sullivan also recorded double-digits with 10 points, while Buck Blanz added nine. Joshua Miller dished five assists to lead the team, which finished with an 18-14 edge over Dallas. The Majors used 20 players, and had 16 in the scoring column.

UP NEXT

With a four-game road trip completed, Dallas looks forward to playing in the Maher Center for the first time to start December. The Crusaders rematch with Millsaps on December 1. Tip-off is slated for around 7:30 p.m. after the women's game.