Crusaders Unable to Shake off Slow Start at Southwestern

Crusaders Unable to Shake off Slow Start at Southwestern

GEORGETOWN, Texas – The University of Dallas men's basketball team suffered back-to-back road setbacks that involved double-digit deficits at halftime that were too much to overcome. After handing Southwestern University its first conference loss a week ago, the Pirates (9-8, 6-2 SCAC) got back on track with a 93-67 final on Saturday night.

The Crusaders (6-10, 4-4 SCAC) moved back to .500 in conference play and have dipped to fifth in the conference standings.

Southwestern held the edge shooting 48.6 percent from the field compared to UD's 27.3 percent. Dallas struggled at 2-for-9 from three-point territory, while the Pirates were 50 percent with six makes. The Pirates also were limited to two turnovers, while Dallas made nine.

Three UD turnovers occurred in the first five possessions that helped the Pirates surge out to a double-digit lead. Besides the Michael Wambsganss (Denver, Colo.) triple that lifted the guests in front 3-2 early on, it was all Dallas could muster besides a free throw in the first five minutes of action. Southwestern meanwhile had the next 11 points to that started with consecutive treys by Kyle Howard and Brandon Alexander. Alexander put the Pirates up by double figures (14-3) on a field goa at 16:14.

Dallas never recovered and were unable to slice the gap beneath double-digits the rest of the way. John Russell (Bossier City, La.) and Ben Norton (Louisville, Ky.) had free throws on separate occasions, but the Pirates mustered a 16-2 run that was capped by a Mike May steal and fastbreak layup seven minutes in. A UD miss and offensive tip-in by Logan Fruhwirth (Waynesville, Ohio) gave Dallas its first field goal in six minutes.

Southwestern exploded further going up by as many as 24 by the end of the stanza at 47-23.

It was a much more competitive second half with Dallas being outscored by just two points, but the damage had been done. UD improved shooting 45.7 percent from the field, although the off night from downtown remained with just 3-of-10 for five made threes altogether.

The Pirates offense was too much shooting 19-for-32 (59.4) from the floor in that half alone. The Crusaders had a couple spurts to try and get back in the contest, but Southwestern answered each time and would lead by its greatest margin of 31 with 2:14 remaining.

Dallas made 18 free throws compared to SU's 10 but were not as efficient going 69.2 percent compared to 83.3 percent.

Leading the individual scorers for the Crusaders was Wambsganss with 14 points and seven rebounds. Both were team-highs, as the sophomore shot 5-of-8 from the field and 4-of-7 from long range. Cameran Hyde (Missouri City, Texas) chipped in 10 points off the bench for the other Dallas player to record double-digits. Also scoring well off the bench was Jai Love (St. Louis, Mo.) with nine points – all in the second. Joshua Nunn (St. Louis, Mo.) made all four free throws to contribute to his seven-point finish.

Dallas held an edge in second chance points 14-11 despite being outrebounded on the glass by three (34-31). The Pirates led in all other categories except UD's slight 36-35 edge in points from the bench.

Southwestern garnered notable advantages on points in the paint (44-34), points off turnovers (24-16), and assists (23-9), among its team category statistics.

Alexander led all scorers in the second head-to-head meeting with 21 points and hauled down eight rebounds. Jake Holmes followed with 15, while Ryan Wheeler and May added 10 apiece. Joel Martinez dished a team-best six assists.


Dallas looks to get back on track where it is unbeaten so far in 2019 at the Maher Center with five of the next six matchups. The first two games of this stretch begin on January 25 and 26 versus Colorado College (7:30 p.m.) and Johnson & Wales University-Denver (1 p.m.). Dallas edged both opponents on the road earlier this season.