SAN ANTONIO, Texas – Both teams had off nights offensively scoring well below its season averages, but Trinity University produced 40 points in the second half to help down the University of Dallas men's basketball team, 64-57, on Friday evening.
The Crusaders entered the break up five, but Trinity turned the momentum with a 13-0 run over seven minutes in the latter part of the second half that lifted the team to its first Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) victory in its league opener. Dallas struggled in the second half shooting 9-of-31 (29%) from the floor and posted a season-low on the scoreboard.
This setback evens Dallas in conference play at 1-1, but the team dropped its third in a row to move to 7-4 overall. The Tigers improved to 7-5.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Emmanuel Calton (Keller, Texas) scored an early basket to get the Crusaders on the board, but neither team shot well from the field in the half. UD netted a season-low in points by halftime, as it shot 36.7 percent in the frame. Trinity struggled more with just 7-of-24 (29.2%) field goal shooting. The home team benefited going 9-for-10 in free throws to keep the margin at two possessions going into intermission.
The Tigers longest drought spanned nearly 6:10 minutes. Nylan Yancy hit a three-pointer at 11:38, and then the next made basket was a layup by Danny Rivara with just under five and a half remaining. Dallas was able to get ahead by as many as 13 (21-8) at one juncture after Calton hit consecutive inside shots.
Rivara's points that snapped the cold spell brought the deficit to 21-14, as free throws before mentioned did keep the Tigers from trailing too far back. Near the end of the half, Trinity shrunk the gap to 26-24, but Solomen Berezin (League City, Texas) banged a trifecta from the left corner in front of the opposing bench to bring the score to what it was at the end of the stanza.
In the last 20 minutes, Dallas struggled missing its first eight field goal attempts. UD fell behind the first time in the contest early in the second, with Trinity surging on a 9-0 run through the first media timeout. Free throws by Spencer Levi (St. Louis, Mo.) 4:06 minutes into the period were the first points for UD. The team's leading scorer on the season had the first four points at the charity stripe, before Michael Wambsganss (Denver, Colo.) buried a three for his first points of the night. That also gave the Crusaders their first field goal of the half with 6:24 minutes ticked by.
With 12:31 left, UD regained a slight lead (44-40) after scoring eight straight points to turn a four-point deficit into an advantage barely under the midway mark. The Tigers flipped the momentum by going on that 13 unanswered run that was capped on a layup by Jayden Holden.
Levi gave one final spark to the offense with a steal and then big dunk at 2:04 that he was fouled on. He made the old fashioned three-point play, and then a pair of free throws a minute later by Wambsganss cut the margin to four. That was as close as UD reduced the gap after Calton's layup for the team's final points made it 61-57 with 46 seconds.
Levi led all players with 17 points, which included 9-of-11 at the free throw line. The freshman missed what would have been his seventh double-double by one, as he led the squad on the glass. Calton contributed 10 points and Darrius Colvin (Waco, Texas) added nine. Colvin and John Russell (Bossier City, La.) each grabbed five boards, as UD collected 34 on the night.
Dallas shot 32.8 percent from the floor and 4-for-20 from behind the three-point arc. Trinity only had one more field goal made with a 21-for-56 (37.5%) display, but did improve to a 43.8-clip in the second half. The Tigers were also dismal from long range going 1-for-14. Both teams shot took care of business at the free throw line, shooting above 80 percent. The Tigers did have 10 more attempts and had an eight-point swing.
Individually, the Tigers were led by Isaiah Specks with 14 points (12 in 2nd half) to contribute to half of the team's bench 28-point total. Aaron Knopp and Matt Jones tossed in 12 and 10, respectively. Danny Rivara garnered 15 boards, which the Tigers pulled down 43 altogether.
- Levi has reached double figures in scoring in his last seven games, and has achieved the plateau in 10 contests. He was short by one in the lone game to not eclipse double figures.
- Nine steals was the most since UD had 11 and 10 respectively in its first pair of games on the season.
- Dallas posted a season-low 11 assists.
Dallas continues conference play at Schreiner University on Saturday. First tip is slated at 4 p.m.