IRVING, Texas – The University of Dallas men's basketball team scored its largest total of points in a half with 53 in the last 20 minutes on Sunday, but Southwestern University held onto its 14-point advantage at the break by winning 95-88.
The Pirates connected on eight of their first 12 three-point field goal attempts in the game to jump out to a double-digit margin. UD worked on shrinking the deficit throughout, and appeared to make a run towards the last moments of the game. A 10-2 stretch made it a single-digit deficit with 1:23. A four-point swing for the Crusaders came without any time ticking off the clock at 46 seconds to make it 91-85, but Dallas was unable to come any closer.
This setback moves Dallas to 9-8 overall and 3-4 in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC). Southwestern improved to 8-9 and 4-2 in the league, while staying unblemished in SCAC away matchups.
HOW IT HAPPENED
A jumper by Prince Giadolor (Rockwall, Texas) 15 seconds into the game put Dallas on top. After Luke Hicks for the Pirates missed a trey, the Pirates would hit their next three attempts from deep. Ryan Wheeler put SU in front with its first points of the game, and an answer from John Russell (Bossier City, La.) gave the Crusaders their final time of leading the game.
Brandon Alexander – who totaled a team-best 26 points – pushed Southwestern to a 14-4 lead after his two three-pointers sandwiched a pair of free throws by Wheeler within the first 3:15 minutes of action. Southwestern kept up the sharp shooting that included a span of eight out of 11 treys made to boast a 33-14 lead about midway through.
UD struck back over with a three-pointer of its own from Joshua Nunn (St. Louis, Mo.) The next three minutes saw the gap narrowed to 12 with a Darrius Colvin (Waco, Texas) dunk and Spencer Levi (St. Louis, Mo.) tip-in on the offensive board capping a 9-2 stretch.
The Pirates responded by ballooning the edge to as many as 21 with 3:27 before the break after Stan Kannegieter completed the old fashioned three-point play. Southwestern shot 44.4 percent in the opening half with nine of its 16 made field goals coming from downtown, which the team made 50 percent at.
Dallas ended the first stanza with the last six points coming from Russell to make it a 49-35 halftime score.
A 9-2 start to the next half matched the Pirates' largest lead of the game. UD kept nibbling away, but the guests were resilent to its comeback attempts. Nunn dropped a three-pointer, and Levi countered a miss by the Pirates by getting a fastbreak layup to cut the score to 10 (69-59) halfway through. Southwestern extended the lead back to 16, and then to 18 after a Michael Wambsganss (Denver, Colo.) trey shrunk it to 13. On SU's last five-point streak, Alexander buried a three to make it 82-64.
Behind 16 with just over four remaining, the Crusaders scored 10 of the next 12 points to get the deficit to 86-78 and 1:23 on the clock. It appeared too late for the home team to get any closer, but a foul gave Isaiah Hayes (Arlington, Texas) two free throws. With 46 ticks left, an offensive ball away from the ball turned it over to UD. Then another foul before the ball got inbounded put Levi at the line with the same time remaining. He put down both attempts to make it a 91-85 score.
Southwestern split its free throws on the next play, but UD missed its last attempts to slim the margin any closer.
Colvin poured 27 points and tied a personal-best four treys. He added five rebounds and four assists. Levi registered his fourth straight double-double with 17 points and 14 boards. The freshman now has 11 double-doubles overall. Russell tossed in 13 points, while Nunn and Wambsganss each delivered 11 from the bench. The latter duo both produced a trio of three-pointers.
Dallas shot 43.5 percent overall and 37 percent from behind the three-point arc, while the Pirates were 47.7 percent and 12-of-26 (46.2%) from three. The Crusaders went 18-for-24 (75%) at the charity stripe, and got outrebounded 39-36. Both sides had 16 points off turnovers, with Southwestern holding a 12-3 edge in the opening frame compared to UD's 13-4 advantage in the second. Both benches matched in scoring contributions with 26 points.
Alexander was a rebound short of a double-double, as he garnered his team-high in points behind a 6-for-10 performance in three-pointers. Luke Hicks achieved a double-double with 12 points and 10 boards. Kyle Howard contributed 15 points and seven assists. Kannegieter had 12 off the bench, and Wheeler rounded out the quintet of double-digit performances with 10.
Dallas set a season-high 10 made three-pointers.
UD tied its fewest turnover total in SCAC play with 12. Its first game of 2018 at Trinity University (Jan. 5) was the other.
24 assists for the Crusaders matches a season-high with their game versus University of the Ozarks (Nov. 30).
Dallas embarks on its longest road stretch of the season that includes four conference foes. Next weekend, the Crusaders are at Texas Lutheran University and Southwestern to start the second half of league play.