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IRVING, Texas – The University of Dallas men's basketball team earned another crucial win as it matched its highest SCAC win total from 2012-13, and sent senior Emmanuel Calton (Keller, Texas) out on a high note in his final game at the Maher Center on Sunday. The Crusaders shot above 50 percent the entire game and were able to edge first place Schreiner University a second time this season. The final was 95-83.
The Crusaders improved to 15-9 overall and 8-5 in conference play. Schreiner fell to 12-11 and 9-3. The Mountaineers remain atop the SCAC despite consecutive road setbacks this weekend. Dallas remains 1.5 games back for second place and the other first round bye in the SCAC Tournament happening in two weeks.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The home team came out hot shooting 70 percent through 14 minutes of action in the first half. Dallas missed its first two shots, but then connected on 12-of-15 from the field until there was about five minutes left until the break.
Things were close through six minutes, but after both teams went cold without points for a minute, Darrius Colvin (Waco, Texas) and Joshua Nunn (St. Louis, Mo.) combined for three free throws and sparked a 10-0 run to make it a double-digit lead near midway of the half. Colvin and Logan Fruhwirth (Waynesville, Ohio) had inside field goals, and Michael Wambsganss (Denver, Colo.) made a pair of free throws to cap the surge with UD up by 12 (25-13).
Schreiner was able to get within five thanks to eight-of-eight free throw shooting and a trey by TJ Distefano over the next three minutes to make it 29-24. The Crusaders countered back with six points from Dustin Mathis (Fort Worth, Texas), Fruhwirth, and Solomon Berezin (League City, Texas) making a three-pointer.
Free throws were important this game, especially for the Mountaineers in the first half. The shot 17-for-20 at the charity stripe which helped keep the score close after 33.3 percent shooting from the floor.
Dallas was able to maintain a decent lead through the rest of the half, and led 45-38 at intermission.
The trifecta by Ellis Jones with 21 seconds carried SU's momentum into the start of the next half, as the visitors scored the next eight points and went up by one.
Colvin made a jumper to end the three-minute drought in the frame. After sides traded points, eight consecutive points got Dallas up by 10 again. Colvin had a pair of shots, while Norton and John Russell (Bossier City, La.) also chipped in a basket.
Schreiner answered immediately with the same amount a points. Half of them came on a rare four-point play by Distefano, who got fouled on a made three-point shot.
Dallas turned the momentum for good as an eight-point scoring difference just under the halfway juncture allowed the home team to push the lead out again for good. With 2:42 to play, Spencer Levi (St. Louis, Mo.) grabbed an offensive rebound and threw it down for an emphatic dunk to spark the UD fans. The Crusaders led by 12 then, and proceeded to make 9-of-10 free throws to seal the victory.
Colvin led the Crusaders with 19 points, seven rebounds, and eight assists (2nd highest this year). He also recorded a pair of blocks. Levi, who was limited to a season-few 23 minutes due to foul trouble, shot 6-for-7 from the floor to help gain 15 points. Nunn was perfect from the line (8-8) to contribute to 14 points. Wambsganss and Fruhwirth combined for 23 off the bench, with Fruhwirth totaling a personal-best 10 points.
Dallas shot 54.2 percent overall but struggled from three-point distance at 22.2 percent (4-18). The team was 73 percent (27-37) in free throws. The Crusaders outrebounded their opponent 39-28, and scored a 44-26 advantage for points in the paint. There were a combined 48 fouls called.
Schreiner was paced by Keenan Gumbs with a game-high 25 points, which included 10-for-12 free throw shooting. Blake Kelley chipped in 18 poitns, while Distefano added 10 thanks to a trio of three-pointers. Schreiner was 40 percent shooting overall, but made 11 three-pointers and 22 free throws. Luis Mancillas dished nine assists.
Dallas has made 20 or more free throws in its latest three-game win streak
Head Coach Jarred Samples now has 110 wins for his career at UD
Levi ended his 10-game stretch of double-doubles versus league opponents by missing it just a second time.
Final | #UDCrusader WIN! Men's Basketball tops 1st Place Schreiner a 2nd time this year, and tied its highest SCAC win total with 8! | @UDallasMBB #GoUD #UDMBB #SCACmbb #d3h pic.twitter.com/YPq1cfTT9L— UDallas Athletics (@UDallasSports) February 11, 2018
Dallas concludes the regular season at Colorado College on February 17th. Tip-off is scheduled for 1 p.m. (MST).