IRVING, Texas – The University of Dallas men's basketball team defeated University of the Ozarks 81-67 on Thursday night at the Maher Center. It was a highlight reel night for Spencer Levi (St. Louis, Mo.) and Darrius Colvin (Waco, Texas) as the duo combined for 49 points in the game by each pouring in season-highs.
The top scoring tandem in the early stages of the season also were part of five dunks – Levi with four – as several big plays on both sides of the ball allowed the Crusaders to eventually surge out to a 20-7 run that would lead to their second win at home.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Dallas raced out to a 9-2 advantage in five minutes of play. Colvin started with a layup and then a steal by Prince Giadolor (Rockwall, Texas) started a fastbreak for Levi to dunk his first finish of the evening. After Ozarks broke through on a Bryson Johnson layup, Levi and Giadolor added back-to-back field goals and Emmanuel Calton (Keller, Texas) added a free throw to cap the hyper start.
The Eagles countered immediately by scoring the next 12 points to take their only lead of the contest with 12:18 in the first half. Zach Bobo drained the three-pointer that capped the run.
Levi ended the scoring span on a fastbreak layup and then Colvin swung the momentum on a breakaway slam. A layup by Giadolor and pair of free throws by Solomon Berezin (League City, Texas) followed the before mentioned sequences, and then Michael Wambsganss (Denver, Colo.) joined in with his first three-pointer of the game to cap an 11-0 explosion.
Bobo ended that streak with a trey of his own, but Wambsganss countered with a consecutive one to keep the edge at double-digits. Ozarks did break that margin in half (27-22) with 7:18 remaining in the frame after Joey Hall pulled up for a quick trey. A Dylan Gray free throw made it a 27-23 game with six and a half to go, but UD would never allow the margin any closer it entered intermission up 38-33.
Dallas did benefit from a 22-12 advantage on points scored in the paint, and 13-5 different in fast break points.
A three by Hall cut the game to one possession (39-36) early in the final half, but Levi responded with another high-flying finish. Kelvin Knight responded back on a layup, but a hustling Calton beat the Ozark's defense and made it a 43-38 game a little over four minutes in.
Neither side saw points until the Eagles got within a pair (43-41) on a jumper by Keon Jenkins. The home team pushed the lead back to eight (51-43) with 11:16 left. Three minutes later, Ozarks made it a six-point deficit (57-51) on a jumper by Bobo.
Wambsganss answered with his final three-pointer of the game and sparked the Crusaders on an eventual 20-7 run that had them up by 17 (77-69) after another highlight dunk by Levi.
The freshman leading scorer coming into the game led all players with a personal-best 25 and shot 12-for-13 (92.3%) from the field. Levi added his third double-double and eclipsed double figures in rebounds for the fourth time with 11 (team-best). Colvin contributed 24 points and was one-of-three players with five assists. Calton and Wambsganss were the other two with at least five dimes.
Wambsganss and Berezin tossed in 13 and 12 points, respectively, off the bench. The pair made all of UD's three-pointers. The Crusaders won the boards battle 39-32 and committed seven fewer turnovers (15-8). Dallas held a 48-24 edge for points scored in the paint and 25-7 difference in points earned on the fastbreak.
Bobo made 8-of-10 field goals to help boast a team-high 18 points. He was the only player in double-digits for the Eagles as Hall and Knight each had eight. Reno Dupor threw five assists. Ozarks shot 36.5 percent from the floor and were 15-for-21 at the free throw line.
The Crusaders improved to 4-1 in their strong start to the campaign, while Ozarks dropped its second in a row to move to 2-3.
The Crusaders altogether made eight blocks led by Levi with half of them. Wambsganss added three. This amount was one shy of the single-game record set on January 28th, 1988 against Austin College. UD twice achieved Thursday's total in 2016-17 in two of the final three contests that regular season.
UD dished a season-high 24 assists and only turned the ball over eight times for a season-few. That assist turnover ratio was a 3.00-clip.
The Crusaders remain shooting above 50 percent on the season (50.2) and have scored at least 73 points in all contests to average 82.0.
Dallas hosts Johnson & Wales University (CO) this Saturday at 3 p.m. after the women's tip.