LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN, Ga. – Despite leading most of the first half, the University of Dallas men's basketball team (1-2) allowed a late run and never overcame it in a 77-60 setback to LaGrange College (2-1) on Saturday. Playing on Covenant College's home court, the Crusaders dropped both contests in the classic and will look to bounce back next week.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Dallas gained the early momentum as a three-pointer by Michael Sarrat (Colleyville, Texas) opened a 7-2 advantage with 17:28. The Crusaders would hit seven treys in the first stanza. LaGrange claimed its first lead of the day a little over a minute later with Alex Bonner connecting on both free throws.
It was a short-lived lead as Darrius Colvin (Waco, Texas) drained his only trifecta of the game to lift UD back in front a possession later. The Crusaders kept a couple possession lead before their opponent nipped the deficit on a three made by Elijah Adedoyin. That made things 20-all with 11:27 until the break.
Tom Kaiser (Nashville, Tenn.) put Dallas back on top with an inside put-back and Victor Garate (Austin, Texas), who came off the bench, drilled consecutive three-pointers to open the biggest lead of the game for Dallas by eight.
Six straight points by LaGrange cut the gap to a field goal that was capped by Jamison McCray's trey with 7:38 to go. UD got layups by Rory MacCallum (Golden, Colo.) and Colvin to raise the team's edge back to 32-26. But the Panthers countered with 10 unanswered and never relinquished the lead as that surge eventually carried to a 19-6 stretch into halftime. Dallas trailed 45-38.
The second half witnessed a strong start by the team in navy and white. Colvin scored a layup 30 seconds out of the break and Sarrat hit a trey to shrink the deficit to 45-43. LaGrange never allowed it to get closer as Bonner hit a layup to make it a two possession game again. Kaiser split at the free throw line to bring the margin to three, and then Justyn Olson pushed the Panthers back ahead on two free throws and a layup. Drew Vanderbrook scored the next four points on layups before Sarrat ended a four-minute field goal drought for Dallas with 14:12. Vanderbrook's previous basket had extended the scoring margin to double-digits for the first time at 55-45.
LaGrange, who was picked as the preseason favorites in the USA South (USAS) coach's poll, stretched its advantage to as wide as 21 late in the second half.
INSIDE THE BOXSCORE
- Dallas outshot its opposition from the field 41.1 percent to 38.2 percent and three-point field goals 37.5 to 34.8. UD did only shoot 29.6 percent after a 51.7-clip in the first stanza. A 5-for-22 display resulted at the line for Dallas compared to 17-for-20 by the Panthers.
- Sarrat led the Crusaders with 15 points and was 5-for-10 in field goals.
- Colvin also reached double figures in scoring with 10 points. He added eight rebounds for the second straight day, which was a team-high. The sophomore dished a career-high five assists.
- Prince Giadolor (Rockwall, Texas) added seven points, six rebounds, and four assists. MacCallum matched seven points with as many boards.
- Rebounds were even at 42 apiece.
- UD outdid the Panthers in assists 13-10.
- LaGrange forced 10 more turnovers (20-10) than committed and tallied a 20-10 edge in pots off turnovers. There was also a 6-0 difference in fastbreak points in favor of the opponent.
- Olson led all players with 17 points. McCray tossed in 11 from the bench.
Dallas heads goes from the Eastern Time Zone to the Western Time Zone for its next two contests. The Crusaders will participate in the Pacific Lutheran University Thanksgiving Tournament from November 25-26. Things begin with an 8 p.m. (CST) tip-off against Puget Sound University on the neutral court.