Crusaders shutdown Austin College on Tuesday, 87-70

Wambsganss and Russell double-doubles standout as Crusaders hold Austin College scoreless for 10 minutes in Tuesday's win.
Wambsganss and Russell double-doubles standout as Crusaders hold Austin College scoreless for 10 minutes in Tuesday's win.

SHERMAN, Texas – The University of Dallas men's basketball team held Austin College scoreless for over 10 minutes between two halves and used a 21-point difference in that span to grab a double-digit lead that held on a Tuesday night conference game. Dallas (8-11, 6-5 SCAC) moved back over .500 in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) standings and avenged an earlier setback to the 'Roos (7-12, 3-7) at the Maher Center in December.

In both contests, the Crusaders grabbed double-digit halftime leads, but were able to pour 52 points in the final 20 minutes this time to avoid the earlier result. Michael Wambsganss (Denver, Colo.) netted 23 of his season-best 29 points during this frame. Austin College made two more field goals than the Crusaders with a 29-for-77 effort, but the guests had the higher percentage with a season-best 56.3 (27-48) from the field. They also were 9-of-15 (60 percent) from three, and 24-of-32 (75 percent) from the free throw line.

Dallas was also big on the glass again securing a 44-31 advantage. Despite allowing 11 offensive rebounds to the opposition, the second chance points were decided 4-3 in favor of the 'Roos.

The 'Roos scored less than five seconds into the game after a quick pass from the opening tip. Wambsganss and Dustin Mathis (Fort Worth, Texas) lifted UD ahead 6-2 on back-to-back triples. A little bit later in the frame, Logan Fruhwirth (Waynesville, Ohio) knotted the score at 13 with the team's third three-pointer.

12 of the next 17 points were scored by the home team and lifted Austin College in front by their greatest margin of the game at 25-18.

Dallas turned the momentum of the stanza by shutting the 'Roos down to no points the last 9:16 minutes. Kam Hogan had a jump shot for AC, but after that the next 17 points went to the Crusaders through the break.

John Russell (Bossier City, La.) ended a Dallas five-minute stretch without a field goal and three-minute span without any points on a layup with eight and a half to play. His basket started the major scoring run that was eventually 21 points in a row over both frames. Within the run in the first half, Jai Love (St. Louis, Mo.) made the backend of two free throws to tie the score at 25 with four minutes left. Wambsganss propelled the Crusaders ahead on the next possession with a trey. Love hit he team's 5th trifecta that half after two free throws by Cameron Hyde (Missouri City, Texas), and Fruhwirth capped the outburst that half with a fastbreak layup that came from a steal and assist by Love.

The Crusaders shot exactly 50 percent (11-22) that half and built a 35-25 lead.  

Baskets by Fruhwirth and Wambsganss started the second half and extended the points-streak to 21. A layup by AC's Jaylin Cleamons ended the drought at 18:54.

The 'Roos were held to 37.7 percent shooting overall but did post a 43.9 mark in the second. This included the team's six made three-pointers in that frame alone. One by Chanston Goodman slashed the deficit to 61-51 with 8:26 left.

UD had the counter with baskets from Ben Norton (Louisville, Ky.) and Love. With four and a half to play, Uniikye Washington (Arlington, Texas) pushed the lead back to 14 (70-56) with a three. He also had two crucial steals that prevented the 'Roos getting any momentum.

With 2:39 remaining, the 'Roos began intentionally fouling to stop the clock. After two missed free throws by Dallas on 1-and-1 situations, the road team settled in to make 15-of-18 free throws. Wambsganss led the way with all nine of his makes that game at the charity stripe. Mathis had four and Fruhwirth added the final two.

The 'Roos cut the score to 10 (74-64) with two to play but that was as close as the margin got. Hogan answered two free throws on a pair of separate attempts by UD with a layup to make it 76-66, but the Crusaders knocked down their last 11 attempts in a row at the line.

Dallas' largest lead of the contest was 17, first held with 17:48 in the second half on a Russell jump shot. That would be the final margin of the game with an 87-70 score.

Wambsganss eclipsed 20 points in his fourth (3rd SCAC) game of the season thanks to 8-of-12 field goal shooting, 4-of-5 from distance, and 9-of-10 at the charity stripe. He hauled down 10 rebounds to tie a game-high and notch his third double-double on the campaign.

Russell matched the high on the glass to tie a personal-best from earlier this year – also against Austin College on Dec. 19, 2018. He registered his first collegiate double-double with 12 points. This is the first game this season, Dallas has had a pair of players with double-doubles.

Mathis contributed 13 points, seven assists, and five boards. Fruhwirth rounded out the quartet of starters scoring double figures with 12. Love chipped in seven points off the bench, while Norton hauled down six rebounds from there. Joshua Nunn (St. Louis, Mo.) and Love helped elevate Dallas' passing game of 20 assists with five and four, respectively.

Despite committing six more turnovers (23-17), AC only scored two more points from turnovers (17-15).

The 'Roos had five starters in double-digits. Leading the quintet was Hogan with 13. He garnered six boards, five steals, and four dimes. Cleamons and Michael Holland both scored 12 points, and Devin Roland and Kameron Hill added 11 apiece. Holland's eight rebounds led the hosts.



Dallas opens its final home stretch of the 2018-19 season. The span over the next week in the friendly confines begins with non-conference foe Southwestern Adventist University on February 2 at 8:30 p.m.