IRVING, Texas – The University of Dallas men's basketball team led at halftime for the first time in three conference games this week, but Schreiner University improved its shooting in the final 20 minutes, hitting nearly 60 percent during that span and draining eight 3-pointers to anchor a 15-point scoring swing in a 78-69 final on Saturday. The Crusaders (9-14, 6-8 SCAC) dropped their third straight Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) contest this week and closed the home season at 5-7.
It was a promising start to Senior Day, as the Crusaders exploded pulled in front with a 13-3 run late in the first half to go up by their largest total of nine (36-27) in the game. The Crusaders shot 56.5 percent from the field and made 10-of-11 free throws to help carry a 39-33 halftime advantage.
Schreiner (12-11, 8-6 SCAC) never trailed through the first 10:48 minutes of the game. There were two ties in that span, but the Mountaineers pushed leads out to five on a trio of occasions. The latest a three-pointer by Matthew Rindahl.
Down 14-9 seven minutes into play after that triple, the Crusaders got one of their own by Dustin Mathis to spark seven unanswered that included consecutive jumpers by John Russell (Bossier City, La.). The home team went up for the first time on the day with a layup by Jai Love (St. Louis, Mo.) with 9:12 before the break. It was a shot lived lead, as Ellis Jones for SU answered back.
The Crusaders went up for the last seven and a half minutes of the stanza with Joshua Nunn making a jumper to etch a 25-24 score. Six free throws with a pair apiece from Cameran Hyde (Missouri City, Texas), Rashid Coombs (Houston, Texas), and Mathis were part of the 10-point scoring advantage mentioned above for UD late in the first. Michael Wambsganss (Denver, Colo.) nailed a trey and dished an assist to Ben Norton (Louisville, Ky.) to cap the run with 3:12 to go before the break.
Schreiner hit four trifectas through the first six minutes of the second half that highlighted an 18-6 scoring stretch. This included back-to-back three-pointers just over three minutes ticked by to knot the score at 43 and then go up the rest of regulation. Cameron Davis hit the tying trey, while Jones pushed the Mountaineers ahead after a UD miss. A triple by Rindahl finished off the early run.
A block by Russell led to a quick triple by Wambsganss – who hit three to help him match a team-high 11 points on the night – that ignited the home crowd and slashed the deficit to four (55-51).
Schreiner countered with Josh Bashford making a field goal and then picking up a steal that eventually resulted in a trey by Josiah Lanier on a fastbreak that came from Alex Dhoyos.
Dallas got within six on three occasions over the next couple plays, but the Maroon and White put the game out of reach with a 14-6 run through the last seconds.
Both teams finished shooting around the same from the field with Dallas leading 45.1 percent to 44.6 percent. The Mountaineers had a stronger second half at 59.1 percent and put in 12 trifectas for the game. Each side hit over 80 percent at the free throw line with Schreiner going 16-for-19 (84.2 percent) and UD hitting 17-of-21 (81 percent).
A quartet of Crusaders eclipsed double-digits in points led by Wambsganss and Russell with 11. Mathis and Coombs followed with 10 apiece, and Logan Fruhwirth (Waynesville, Ohio) and Nunn added eight and nine, respectively. Fruhwirth grabbed seven rebounds for a team-best and matched his personal best from the other night against Centenary College. Russell grabbed six. Mathis (4), Nunn (3), and Love (3) combined for 10 of UD's 13 assists. Dallas won the battle in the paint scoring 32-20 in points. The Crusaders bench outscored their opponent 17-9 in the first half, but finished with just a 25-23 edge.
Schreiner held a narrow lead 31-30 on the boards. Rindahl was the leader of the game with nine rebounds to near a potential double-double that would have stood out with his game-high 22 points. Jones contributed 14 points and Dehoyos rounded out the trio of double-digit scorers for SU with 12 to go with six assists. Bashford posted nine points and swiped four steals. As a unit, the Mountaineers had 15 steals that helped force 16 turnovers.
Prior to the game, Dallas honored Fruhwirth and Ben Norton (Louisville, Ky.) for this being their last career games in the Maher Center.
Dallas hopes to rest up for the final pair of road games this regular season on February 15 and 16. The team faces a familiar opponent in Schreiner the first day, with things wrapping up at Trinity University, who currently sit one seed behind the Crusaders for sixth.