PREVIEW: Men's Basketball at Rhodes College (12/31)

Crusaders begin four-game road stretch over next week and a half starting Sunday.
Crusaders begin four-game road stretch over next week and a half starting Sunday.

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FIRST TIP

The University of Dallas men's basketball team closes 2017 with a road game at Rhodes College on New Year's Eve at 2 p.m. The Crusaders (7-2, 0-1 SCAC) kick off a season-long four-game road trip after playing their past five contests at the Maher Center.

Dallas went 4-1 on the homestand, with its most recent outing being an 88-82 setback to MacMurray College. The Crusaders remain in first place in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) thanks to a win in the middle of the month versus Colorado College in the only league matchup thus far. They also sport the best overall record in the conference.


UD NOTABLES

- Team leads the SCAC with a 50.0 percent field goal and in scoring defense by allowing 73.7 points-per-game (ppg). Also second in the conference in scoring offense with 81.3 ppg.

- Spencer Levi (St. Louis, Mo.) continues his strong freshman campaign, by ranking top five in several categories. He is averaging 17.2 points (5th in SCAC) 10.2 rebounds (2nd), and shooting 73.8 percent (1st). In the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA), Levi is slotted in the same spots for rebounds and field goal shooting.

- Levi moved down from first in NCAA Division III in field goal percentage, but remains near the top by checking in at fourth in the latest posting.

- Levi has amassed five double-doubles thus far and eclipsed double figures in points all-but once this year. That game he scored nine. Levi ranks atop both the SCAC and USCAA in blocks-per-game (2.9). He is eighth nationally for that category.

- Michael Wambsganss (Denver, Colo.) also appears in the top-10 stats of NCAA DIII for three-point field goal percentage (54.4). That clip puts Levi's classmate in first in the SCAC and second in the USCAA.

- Wambsganss sits third on the squad in scoring average (15.4 ppg). He scorched the final two non-conference foes for 53 points combined. He shot 18-of-24 (75.0%) from the floor and 66.6 percent (10-15) from downtown.

- Darrius Colvin (Waco, Texas) has contributed 142 points and 15.8 ppg for second on the team. Prince Giadolor (Rockwall, Texas) rounds out the double-digit scorers by averaging 10.

- Dallas is averaging 37.3 rebounds and has accumulated 336. Opponents have averaged 32.6 boards.


BY THE NUMBERS

- UD Season Stats

- Rhodes Season Stats

- The Crusaders are 6-8 in the all-time series.

- Last season at the Maher Center, UD edged the Lynx in a shootout 136-127. That total matched a school record and set a new SCAC record.

- The team also added to the record books by making 54 field goals. Graduate Tom Kaiser poured in 45 points and made 21 field goals. Each counted as school bests.

- Colvin and Giadolor added 20 and 16 points, respectively.


OPPONENT NOTABLES

- The Lynx rank 3rd in scoring offense with 116.7 ppg. They have allowed 110.6 a contest.

- Rhodes enters with a 5-4 record overall, and are 3-3 at home.

- Rhodes is coming off a 120-110 setback at Covenant College on December 19th. The team hosts University of Texas at Dallas on Friday.

- It knocked off fellow SCAC school Austin College almost a month ago in Sherman, Texas, 120-103.

- Several players have contributed to this high scoring offense, with 11 players above 50 points.

- Pacing the pack are Bryce Berry with 121 (13.4 ppg) and Anesu Nyawata at 120 (13.3 ppg). Mitch Weatherford and Galvin Owen follow with 9.1 and 9.0 respective scoring averages.

- A trio of players have eclipsed double-digits in steals. Berry leads with 13 and Preston Giroux is right behind at 12. Weatherford has 10 swipes. Rhodes has edged opponents 108-87 in that column.


UP NEXT

Conference play welcomes Dallas into 2018. A pair of road games will be held at Trinity University (January 5th) and Schreiner University (6th). The away trip concludes Jan. 10th at Southwestern Adventist University in a non-conference tilt.