COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The University of Dallas men's basketball team held on for a 90-84 victory at Colorado College on Saturday afternoon. Michael Wambsganss (Denver, Colo.) poured a season-high 22 points, that included four three-pointers, in the first-of-two games in his home state this weekend. 14 of those occurred in a 52-point second half, as the Crusaders (2-8, 1-2 SCAC) snapped a six-game losing skid with their first conference victory.
Colorado College (4-8, 0-4 SCAC) cut a late 83-76 deficit to one point with consecutive three-pointers by Eric Jonas and Scott Cunningham. Wambsganss countered with a crucial three-pointer with 52 seconds left and followed a missed three-point attempt by the home side with two free throws to push the game out of reach.
The win secured head coach Jarred Samples the all-time winning mark in program history with 112. He joins current Dallas men's soccer head coach David Hoffmann as the second active coach at the school with that distinction. Samples eclipsed 100 career wins last season and tied the all-time wins record in the team's other triumph this season over Mississippi University for Women on November 24. Samples had matched Brian Stanfield for the most wins, who was his predecessor at the helm for nine seasons and coached the 2001 UD Graduate and four-year letterwinner.
Dallas exploded for season-high in offensive marks including: points, field goals (30), record-making three-pointers (15), and assists (20). The Crusaders shot exactly 50 percent from the floor, 51.7 percent from downtown, and an 88.2 free throw percentage, which also were tops on the campaign.
Wambsganss led a quartet of players in double figures behind 6-of-10 field goal shooting and 4-of-8 three-point shooting. Logan Fruhwirth (Waynesville, Ohio) and Dustin Mathis (Fort Worth, Texas) also each drained a personal-best four three-pointers to help chime in with 16 and 12 points, respectively. Joshua Nunn (St. Louis, Mo.) finished third among the top four scorers with 14 points.
For the second outing in a row, the Crusaders matched their highest scoring total of a half with 38 points. Both sides slumped to a combined 27 points with Colorado College holding a 15-12 lead. Jai Love (St. Louis, Mo.) split at the free throw line at 9:18 making the first of two, and then Mathis nailed a trifecta to put the Crusaders back up on their next possession. That sparked a seven-point streak that UD used as part of a 17-4 scoring swing. Fruhwirth remained hot in conference, averaging 16 points over three league games. His final basket that half opened the largest lead of the game by either side at 11 (30-19) with four and a half prior to intermission.
Nabeel Elabdeia broke CC's six-minute cold spell without a field goal on a trifecta. CooXooEii Black, who notched a 17 points in the opening stanza, helped close the gap down the final moments of the frame to 35-33 with the help of a jumper and two free throws.
Dallas went 7-for-13 from long range in the first, and the last was buzzer-beater by Nunn with 3.8 seconds left. It was also the second straight outing Nunn beat the horn at the break, but this one was at the top of the arc. It helped the Crusaders carry a 38-33 halftime lead.
The Tigers recaptured their first lead since 15-13 in the first half at 16:36 on a trey by Jonas to make it 46-45. There would be seven lead changes in the game, as Fruhwirth answered back with a three of his own.
Both sides heated up by shooting exactly 56.3 (18-32) percent from the field. Colorado College improved to 10-of-18 (55.6 percent) from deep, while the Crusaders were 8-for-16. Both teams surpassed 50 points in the second half.
John Russell (Bossier City, La.) made a layup to stretch the score to 79-73, and then Fruhwirth made a pair of defensive plays that led to stops. His steal led to a jump shot by Wambsganss and then a block kept the score at eight.
Colorado College did not back away cutting the score to 83-82 on a three by Cunningham.
Wambsganss responded with five points, and Nunn sealed the win with two more free throws that capped a perfect 8-for-8 half.
Dallas forced 14 turnovers while committing only eight. This led to a 19-5 advantage on points off turnovers. The team dished 10 assists per half, with Love and Nunn passing four apiece for team-highs. The Crusaders scored all eight fastbreak points in the game. They also held a 24-18 edge for points in the paint despite being outrebounded by seven (36-29).
Colorado College did hold an 11-3 advantage on second chance points. Black went for a game-high 27 points and added 10 rebounds for a double-double. He posted five assists and four blocks. Pendleton compiled a double-double of his own with 15 points (14 in second half) and game-high 12 boards. Jonas tossed in 14 points with the fourth player in the game with four made treys.
The 15 made three-pointers for Dallas broke the previous record by one versus John Brown on January 20, 1990. It is the second time this season UD finished with a double-digit total amount of three's (10 vs. Hendrix College on Dec. 3).
Saturday's victory was the first over the Tigers at Reid Arena since a one-point thriller, 67-66, on February 22, 2014. It snapped a four-game streak over the same span of years in head-to-head meetings and five games at the venue that hosted the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) Tournament in 2017-18.
Dallas faces new conference member Johnson & Wales University in Denver tomorrow at 2 p.m. (MST) after the women's tip.