IRVING, Texas – Tied at halftime, Centenary College eventually got consecutive three-pointers by Cedric Harris and a layup by Dakota Smith to break a 36-point deadlock and lift the guests the rest of the way past the University of Dallas men's basketball team on Tuesday night.
Neither side shot well going under 40 percent from the field and combining for 15 made three's in 55 attempts. The Gents (10-11, 7-5 SCAC) had three extra field goals (22-56) than Dallas (9-12, 6-6 SCAC) and used their league-leading defense to hold the Crusaders to less than 30 points in both frames.
The win lifted the Gents into a tie for the second seed with Southwestern University, who fell 79-77 to Schreiner University tonight. Dallas dropped to .500 and to the fifth seed in a tight conference race with two weekends remaining.
The Crusaders were limited to a free throw for almost seven minutes to start the contest. Michael Wambsganss (Denver, Colo.) tallied UD's first basket from the floor with a trey with 13:11 left in the first stanza.
Centenary had only mustered nine points at that juncture, but did stretch its largest lead of the half to eight (14-8) at about the midway point. Kile Mingo netted 10 of the team's first 12 points, but would be held to 11 overall.
An 11-0 run over the next five minutes helped UD grab its first lead since John Russell (Bossier City, La.) had split at the free throw line for the first point on the board. Rashid Coombs (Houston, Texas) started the streak with a layup and then Jai Love (St. Louis, Mo.) chipped in five points on a triple and go-ahead fastbreak layup with just under seven to play. Wambsganss capped the streak.
Dallas never trailed the rest of the way. A trifecta by Treylan Matthews with 1:19 before intermission leveled the score at 23. The Gents had one more made three-pointer that half, while the Crusaders went 3-for-4 at the charity stripe for the only attempts there. UD was called for just one foul in those 20 minutes.
Wambsganss put the Crusaders back up with one-of-two free throws and then Centenary countered with the next seven points starting with five from Matthews. UD's Russell ended the surge with a layup.
Logan Fruhwirth (Waynesville, Ohio) nipped the margin to two points with a trey and Wambsganss followed a couple missed Centenary three-pointers with a layup to tie the score at 31. Fruhwirth got the dime on that play and then came back with the go-ahead layup with 14:12 remaining. He drained his third three-pointer to push Dallas' biggest lead of the game to 36-31.
He was the home team's leading scorer with 15 points.
The Gents called a timeout and responded with a Matthews' three. After a block on the defensive end, Harris tied the game with a jumper with 12 to play. He finished with 17 points and was a force in the second half with 15 coming.
Centenary's five unanswered swelled to 13 points in a row and marked the turning point in this otherwise low scoring night.
Dallas countered with Dustin Mathis (Fort Worth, Texas) scoring the next six points for the Crusaders to slice the gap to 44-42. He dialed a three with about eight minutes remaining move UD close, but Harris answered with a jumper and third trifecta of the game.
There were several occasions down the stretch that the Crusaders pulled within four. A three by Mathis with 12 ticks left on the clock made it a one possession game (55-52), but Matthews hit his two free throws to seal the road win and season sweep.
The Crusaders shot 30.6 (19-62) from the field, 23.3 percent (7-30) from three, and 58.3 percent from the free throw line (7-12). The Crusaders did win the battle on the glass 43-36 with 16 on the offensive side. They also dished 16 assists and committed 10 turnovers. Dallas held the advantage in second chance points (13-4), while Centenary was better on points off turnovers (7-2). Points in the paint were nearly even favoring UD by two (22-20).
Fruhwirth was the leader on the home team for points and matched a personal-best seven rebounds. Wambsganss was the other Crusader in double-digits with 10 points. He posted five rebounds and assists, which also matched Mathis for those columns. Mathis did score nine. Love had seven points and three dimes off the bench. Ben Norton (Louisville, Ky.) also came off the bench and hauled down 11 boards for a game-high and match a personal-high. UD's bench outscored Centenary 15-2.
Centenary finished 39.3 percent from the floor and 8-of-25 from three. The team swatted six blocks led by Smith with half of them. Matthews finished with a game-high 18 points.
Dallas seeks finishing the home schedule strong with its remaining pair of contests on Friday, February 8, against Texas Lutheran University and Feb. 9 with Schreiner University. Tips are 7:30 p.m. on Friday and 6 p.m. on Saturday.