(Photo Courtesy of Hendrix College)
CONWAY, Ark. – The University of Dallas men's basketball team (1-0) captured its season-opening win in dramatic fashion on Tuesday night at Hendrix College (0-1). Trailing since about 12 minutes left in the first half, Lorenzo Gonzalez (San Antonio, Texas) drained a game-tying three-pointer with three seconds remaining. With the score knotted 77-77, Hendrix's Bryce Parker trifecta attempt as time expired missed its mark and the first overtime of the season had already begun for both squads.
Dallas was able to take advantage of a couple missed free throws and Xavier Cannon (Humble, Texas) – who made his collegiate debut – garnered a pair of layups that extended UD's edge well enough for the 89-88 final.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Warriors drew the first point of the evening with Gearen Littlefield hitting one-of-two free throws. UD answered two possessions later with Darrius Colvin (Waco, Texas) nailing a three-pointer for the first Crusader points of the campaign. It was back-and-forth in the early going as both teams exchanged narrow leads. Dallas led by no more than three points (7-4) and would re-knot the score 12-12 on a jumper by Solomon Berezin (League City, Texas). That was with 12:46 left in the first stanza.Two more ties would occur in the next three minutes with Colvin draining a trey to make it 17-17 and Michael Sarrat (Colleyville, Texas) countering two HC free throws with a pair of his own.
After that juncture, the home side rattled 11 unanswered points that included five from Preston Smith. His three with about six minutes until intermission pushed the edge to double-digits (30-19). After a Sarrat field goal ended the run, Smith dialed another shot from downtown to bring the score difference to the greatest of the night by either side which was 12. Parker found the stroke from long range as well, hitting HC's final two made field goals from there in the half. His last one with six ticks left displayed a 43-31 edge at halftime. For UD, Berezin scored the final points in the frame for the away team with a three with 2:09 to go.
In the second half, the Crusaders improved on their field goal percentage going from 36.7 percent (11-30) to 57.1 percent (20-35). Dallas scored eight of the first 10 points out of the break to cut the deficit to six (45-39). A Smith layup and free throw along with consecutive field goals by Littlefield swung a 7-2 run on the scoreboard. With 15:31 left, Gonzalez tallied a layup for the final field goal until Rory MacCallum (Boulder, Colo.) ended the drought with 13:41.
Hendrix seemed to be in control with about 10 minutes to go as Smith capped an 8-0 run with two layups in a row. He also swiped a steal that led to a fastbreak on his final lay-in.
The Crusaders mustered a comeback with 6:23 left. Colvin started a 17-10 run in the final part of the second with a jumper. After a Hendrix field goal, Cannon to a tip in on his own offensive rebound. Sarrat then chimed in with a trey to nip the gap to 68-65. The Warriors responded with a three from Smith and later it was home up by five. Free throws began coming in play and with a few over two minutes a miss on the second of two by Parker left the margin at four (75-71) for Hendrix. Sarrat dialed a three with 29 ticks remaining bring the deficit to 75-74. After two makes at the charity stripe for Hendrix, Sarrat went up for a game-tying three. He was blocked by Parker but Kaiser was able to gain the offensive rebound and dish an assist to Gonzalez for an off-balanced, highly contested look.
Dallas only played extra regulation once in 2015-16 and it was at Curry College in what was the first win of the season that year, too. The Warriors took an early lead 30 seconds into the overtime with Bryce Batchelor making the backend of two free throws. Sarrat hit a jumper for UD's first points and field goal that period with three and a half on the clock. Eight of the first 10 points were on free throws combined. Berezin propelled Dallas ahead with three straight after being fouled on a shot from behind the arc. HC's Batchelor knotted things again 82-all.
That was the final tie of the contest as Prince Giadolor's (Rockwall, Texas) jumper gave the Crusaders a lead that would not be relinquished. A missed free throw on what would have tied the game on the next possession opened the door for Cannon to score four of his eight points. His final one occurred with 34 seconds left and opened a five point difference (88-83). Smith brought Warriors within three, but Sarrat scored his team-high 21st point on the first of two free throws with 12 ticks on the board. Hendrix got a trey with time expiring by Batchelor, but Dallas held on to the triumph.
INSIDE THE BOXSCORE
- Dallas shot 50.7 percent from the floor and 47.4 percent from three-point range.
- Sarrat scored 21 and shot 50 percent (7-14) from the field. The point amount is the second highest scoring total for his career. It has been done four times now since his freshman year.
- Also within the quartet of double figure scorers for UD were: Tom Kaiser (Nashville, Tenn.) with 14, Colvin with 11, and Gonzalez with 10. Colvin shot 3-for-5 from downtown.
- Giadolor headlined the rebounding with a team-high 10. He also led all players with seven assists and Gonzalez dished six. Dallas had 23 dimes compared to 17 by the opponent.
- Hendrix was led by Smith with a game-high 28 points. Parker added 20 and Littlefield recorded a double-double with 11 points and 10 boards.
- The Warriors shot 38.8 percent overall and 41.4 percent in three-pointers. They struggled to a 61.5 percent (24-39) in free throws compared to 71.4 percent (10-14) by Dallas. The Crusaders fouled Hendrix 25 times while only drawing 17.
- Team rebounds were nearly identical with Hendrix edging by one (43-42).
Dallas continues its road trip for two games hosted at Covenant College starting this Friday. On that day, the Crusaders take on the home school at 6:30 p.m. (CST).