IRVING, Texas – The University of Dallas men's basketball team worked hard to overcome a rough start to Sunday's game versus Austin College, but fell 85-78 at the Maher Center. After trailing by double-digits most of the first half, Dallas outscored its opponent 29-17 the first 11 minutes of the next frame to pull within one.
However, UD allowed the 'Roos to run out to a large lead early in the game that reached as many as 22 points, and never led in the team's first conference setback at home. Darrius Colvin (Waco, Texas) poured a career-best 29 points, with 18 of them coming in the second half. It was back-and-forth through the last nine minutes as the Crusaders tried to go in front, but Austin College pulled away for good with seven straight points that led to an 11-6 run in the last 1:36 minutes.
Dallas fell for just the second time this season and sit at 9-6 overall and 3-2 in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC). The 'Roos moved to 3-13 and 1-4 after their first league win.
HOW IT HAPPENED
It took the Crusaders almost three minutes to score, but Spencer Levi (St. Louis, Mo.) came up with back-to-back layups to put them behind 6-4. Austin College got a three-pointer from Josh Quinn, who then came up with a steal on the next play and found Michael Holland for the triple. Josh Garrett capped the eight-point mini-run on a layup to make it a double figure advantage (14-4) five and a half in.
UD countered with a trifecta from Isaiah Hayes (Arlington, Texas), but the 'Roos quickly responded by going on a 14-4 run to lead 29-11 and 8:48 left in the stanza. That lead ballooned a bit higher, but the Crusaders went to work cutting the gap to 11 (40-29) on an inside jumper by Colvin. Two free throws by Holland at 1:38 were the last points of the stanza and completed a 42-29 halftime score.
Austin College had struck for an 18-2 edge in points off turnovers, which the Crusaders had committed 13 of in that half alone. The guests also led 11-4 in second chance points and 8-0 on fastbreak points.
The new half started off similarly with seven straight points going to the 'Roos thanks to a Holland steal leading to a basket by Justice Mercadel, and Quinn draining a trey to push the gap back to 20 less than two minutes in.
UD shrunk the deficit again with nine unanswered points and appeared to shift the momentum thanks to forcing more turnovers on the other side of the ball. The visitors committed 10 in the last 20 minutes of the game. Dallas eventually got within a point after a three by Michael Wambsganss (Denver, Colo.) at 13:20 sparked a 15-4 run over the next four minutes. Colvin knocked a pair of threes, with one of them capping that eruption that brought it to 59-58.
It was competitive the remainder of the game as Dallas kept staying within a possession, but never gained the lead. Quinn connected from deep to double AC's lead at six (70-64) with 5:25 to go. Three minutes later, Calton scored a layup and then a few plays later took a rebound all the way down for a fastbreak that clipped the deficit to 72-70.
After two points were traded each way, Austin College took the final run with Kam Hogan getting a jumper and Quinn following two missed free throws by UD with his third three-pointer of the half. He added two more free throws to complete the deciding 7-0 scoring span.
Dallas was led offensively by Colvin with a personal-best 29, which was thanks to 18 in the second half. Calton contributed a season-high 12 points all occurring in the second as well. Levi notched his second double-double of the weekend with 17 points and 15 rebounds. Colvin followed on the boards for UD with seven. The freshman added three blocks in consecutive outings, while Colvin and Calton swiped four steals apiece.
The Crusaders shot 43.1 percent overall, while Austin College hit 44.4 percent. Dallas displayed a 34.6 percent field goal shooting mark in the first half, but improved at 13-for-26 (50.0%) in the later frame. The 'Roos connected on seven three-pointers with one extra attempted compared to UD, and were 14-of-15 in free throws. Dallas did go to the stripe 14 more times, and counted 22 points from there.
Dallas was beaten on the rebounds 40-34, as the guests posted 20 on each side of the glass. Overall, the Crusaders cut down on the turnovers in the second half for 20 in the game compared to Austin College finishing with 17. In the end, the 'Roos had a 25-11 advantage on points from miscues and 42-34 edge on points in the paint.
Quinn led the 'Roos with 21 points and was 5-for-10 from downtown. Mercadel followed with 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for a double-double. Holland and Hogan tossed in 15 and 10 points, respectively. Hogan added six assists, while Mercadel and Quin combined for seven of the team's 12 steals.
Colvin eclipsed 20 points for the fourth time this season, with all of them coming inside the friendly confines.
Levi registered his ninth double-double overall and third in the last four games. Of the past six games he has notched four total, and missed out on the other two by one in either the scoring or rebounding column.
Today's contest was the first time this season UD trailed by 20 points or more.
Dallas continues its conference homestand with two games next Friday and Sunday. The weekend starts with Texas Lutheran University for a 5:30 p.m. tip. Southwestern University visit will conclude the first half of league play.