Men's Basketball narrowly Edge Colorado College in SCAC Opener

Crusaders maintain top position early in the standings after 1st SCAC win on Saturday.
Crusaders maintain top position early in the standings after 1st SCAC win on Saturday.

IRVING, Texas – The University of Dallas men's basketball team captured its first Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) win after a 69-65 victory over Colorado College on Saturday afternoon at the Maher Center. Dallas improved to 6-1 on the campaign, while the Tigers moved to 4-4 overall and 0-1 in conference play.

The contest had 14 lead changes and seven ties. With the Crusaders down 44-40 early in the second half, Spencer Levi (St. Louis, Mo.) was found low in the paint for an easy dunk at 14:38 left. Darrius Colvin (Waco, Texas) – who notched a team-high 18 points – sprinted for a big slam on the next play as those consecutive moments sparked a run where 19 of the next 27 points counted for the home squad. During that surge, Colvin's jumper with 12 and a half minutes left in regulation lifted UD ahead 47-46. The Crusaders never trailed after that juncture despite the conference preseason favorites threatening until the last buzzer.

HOW IT HAPPENED

Emmanuel Calton (Keller, Texas) drained his first three-pointer of the year to give UD a 6-4 lead barely two minutes into the contest. Overall the Crusaders sank nine field goals from the arc, with four different players contributing with multiple makes. Solomon Berezin (League City, Texas) was another that had two treys, and hit his first attempt to put his team up 13-10.

It was a brief lead again, as John Hatch for the Tigers answered with a trifecta of his own on the next play with 13 and a half minutes remaining. Hatch rattled five three-pointers and had all-but one from distance on the visiting squad. CC's Chris Martin put his team in front on a dunk about a minute later.

A 15-7 difference in points off turnovers aided Dallas to a good portion of its success in the first half. Calton's second trey of the frame pulled the team within a point with under four until the break. UD hit three of its final four field goals from downtown. Berezin had the next trifecta that knotted the contest a sixth time at 31. Colvin swiped a steal and was able to breakaway for a huge dunk that propelled the home team up two. Michael Wambsganss (Denver, Colo.) found the bottom of the net from long distance and opened a 36-31 edge with 1:35.

CC roared back with the ending six points of the period to reflect a one-point lead at halftime, 37-36.

Prince Giadolor (Rockwall, Texas) dropped back-to-back layups at the start of the second half to swing the Crusaders on top. Hatch countered for the next five points and a Martin jumper four minutes in left the score favoring Colorado College 44-40.

Over a minute passed, and then Giadolor sent a sharp pass on the left side of the pant to Levi for the team's season leading scorer to rise for an easy dunk. Berezin followed on the next play by snatching a steal and connecting with Colvin on a game-tying jam.

Dallas moved the lead to five after Levi put in a pair of free throws with 11 minutes. That matched the widest margin at the time. A three by Joshua Nunn (St. Louis, Mos.) sent the distance back to five (57-52). Wambsganss dished the assist on that score, and then added another dime after his steal went to Colvin and rose the Crusaders up by seven. The largest lead of the game would be eight with just under two to play after Levi went two-for-two at the charity stripe.

The Tigers answered back quickly on a jumper by Eric Houska making it a six-point game (69-63) with 1:39 remaining. CooXooEii Black posted the final field goal with 46 seconds, but Dallas' tenacious defense limited the Tigers to a last moment three by Hatch that missed.

Behind Colvin's leading total points was Levi with 13. He matched a game-high 12 rebounds for his fifth double-double in seven outings of his debut campaign. Wambsganss led the team's group of guys that connected for three with a trio of his own. Calton and Nunn each tossed in eight points. Calton tied a season-high, and Nunn notched his highest total of his first year.

Dallas benefited from 17 miscues by the guests with a 28-11 edge coming in points from them. Both sides each had 28 points in the paint, and the Tigers won the battle on the glass by one (35-34). UD's bench outscored the Tigers 25-0.

Colorado College's starting five were the contributors to all 65 points. Houska led the way with 21 and fed six assists. Hatch posted 19, while Martin and Black entered double figures with 14 and 10, respectively. Martin garnered a double-double by also claiming 12 boards. The Tigers finished with eight blocks – Hatch came up with five rejections.

TIP-INS

This is the fourth game in a row that Dallas has achieved at least five blocked shots.

The nine made three-pointers tied a season-most with the road game at Hendrix College (11/21).

Dallas has won three in a row for the second time this season, and remains unbeaten at home (4-0).

SOCIAL MEDIA

UP NEXT

Dallas resumes non-conference play with back-to-back home tips next week. A rematch is scheduled with Hendrix College on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. The homestand wraps up the next day at 7 p.m. versus MacMurray College.