Late 1st Half Run Pushes Crusaders over Trinity Friday; Win-Streak at Three Games

Mathis started the game with nine points en route to a personal-high and game-high 19.
Mathis started the game with nine points en route to a personal-high and game-high 19.

IRVING, Texas – The University of Dallas men's basketball team used an 11-1 run at the end of the first half to separate from Trinity University, and were able to claim a 73-64 victory on Friday night at the Maher Center. The Crusaders (4-8, 3-2 SCAC) have won three in a row and began 2019 with their first victory at the home confines on the season.

Trinity University (2-10, 2-1 SCAC) was given its first conference blemish on the year, as the offense was outshot by UD 45.1 percent to 34.9 percent.

Dustin Mathis (Fort Worth, Texas) poured a career-high 19 points with a trio of three-pointers and perfect 6-for-6 game at the free throw line. Michael Wambsganss (Denver, Colo.) notched his first career double-double with 15 points and a personal-best 10 rebounds. Logan Fruhwirth (Waynesville, Ohio) continued his double-digit points total streak in conference with 16 points.

Mathis scored the first nine Dallas points, which included two three-pointers. His second triple he was fouled on for a rare four-point play and he executed on. Trinity came back to knot the score at nine, but Fruhwirth would get an old fashioned three-point play to put the Crusaders in front early in the game.

There were six ties and two lead changes, with all of them occurring in the opening stanza. A couple three-pointers by Joshua Nunn (St. Louis, Mo.) and Fruhwirth lifted the home team back on top by three in the last stages of the half.

The trey by Fruhwirth sparked the 10-point scoring swing that ended up being the difference at halftime with a 37-27 score. A steal and Wambsganss fastbreak layup followed the three to make it five in a row before Trinity got AJ Clark to split at the free throw line for the only point in 3:34 for the Tigers.

A block by Letrell Toussaint (Waco, Texas) ignited a surge by Dallas that led to another triple by Fruhwirth on the other end. Wambsganss connected on a midcourt buzzer-beater to give the Crusaders three in the last four contests.

Teams traded early baskets in the second before going over two minutes without any points on the board. A layup by Matthew Colliflower was counted by a three from Mathis to stretch the lead for UD back to 10. Trinity sliced the score to six (42-36) on a jumper from Isaiah Specks with 15:32 left, but that was the slimmest the margin got.

Another trifecta from Fruhwirth stretched the advantage back to near double-digits and that was where it remained most of the way. Both Fruhwirth and Mathis went 3-for-7 from downtown, as the Crusaders made 10 in the game. This is the third outing this season that the Crusaders have eclipsed double figures from long range.

A layup by Wambsganss pushed the largest lead of the game for Dallas out at 13 (68-55) with 1:40 remaining. Trinity used a three-point play by Jordan Lippman and trey from Specks to reduce the gap to as close as seven, but UD hit five of the final six free throws to win its third consecutive conference matchup and go above .500 in the league.

Dallas took care of business at the charity stripe going 17-for-20 compared to the Tigers' 15-for-24 mark. The Crusaders were whistled for 22 fouls compared to 15 by their opponent. The Dallas bench featured seven reserves that included a season debut from Ben Norton (Cincinnati, Ohio).

Beyond Wambsganss's personal-best 10 rebounds, Norton garnered six in the senior's first game back. The top trio of scorers in double figures were followed by Nunn with eight points and Jai Love (St. Louis, Mo.) with five. Wambsganss, Mathis, and Love each dished four assists to lead the squad.

Each team grabbed 37 rebounds, with the Tigers hustling for 15 on the offensive glass. This led to a 16-2 edge in second chance points for the guests. Despite the size difference, the Crusaders scored a 24-18 advantage in points in the paint.

The Tigers were led by Danny Rivara with 17 points (14 in the first half). Specks added 11 points. The duo came off the bench. Rivara and Tyler Peavy led the team on the glass with five apiece.

This win marks the fifth in a row against Trinity at the Maher Center in as many years.


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UP NEXT

Dallas looks to keep its recent surge going with Southwestern University at home on January 12. First tip is at 6 p.m.