Crusaders Blow Past Southwestern Adventist

Crusaders use great overall performance to earn non-conference win to start last home stretch.
Crusaders use great overall performance to earn non-conference win to start last home stretch.

IRVING, Texas – The University of Dallas men's basketball team held its opposition to 70 points in both victories this week and prevailed by two more points than its earlier triumph with a 19-point final over Southwestern Adventist University on Saturday night at the Maher Center. The Crusaders (9-11) were one point shy of tying a season-most, but did score a new best on the year in field goals with 35 makes. That total reflected a great shooting night of 49.3 percent that included 50 percent (16-32) in the opening half to build a 39-20 advantage.

After an early 2-0 deficit, Ben Norton (Louisville, Ky.) scored a layup to knot things. Joshua Nunn (St. Louis, Mo.) hit UD's second three-pointer in a row after Michael Wambsganss (Denver, Colo.) had his first of two on the game. Nunn's trey propelled Dallas on a 23-4 run over eight minutes and gave the home side a lead that never was relinquished. Logan Fruhwirth (Waynesville, Ohio) had the next five points that included an old fashioned three-point play. Inside shots by Rashid Coombs (Houston, Texas), Wambsganss, and Letrell Toussaint (Waco, Texas) stretched the margin to double-digits the first time of the contest.

The Knights (8-13) struggled shooting 33.3 percent (8-24) in the first stanza, and were never able to clip the deficit into single-digits after Toussaint's offensive rebound and putback.

Dallas would grow the lead to 19 as Nunn drained a triple with six ticks left prior to intermission. The Crusaders had a 10-point advantage on points in the paint (20-10) and were up 11-2 on fastbreak points that frame.

A trio of three-pointers highlighted a quick outburst in the second half that resulted in 12 straight UD points the first three and a half minutes. Nunn's two free throws and a layup by Norton sandwiched two Nunn trifectas and the lone one for Dustin Mathis (Fort Worth, Texas).

32 points was the widest gap for the Crusaders in the game. Despite both sides equaling 50 points in the second half, the home team got to use 18 players. This featured collegiate debuts Philip Ashton III (Manassas, Va.) and Zach Wagner (Broomfield, Colo.), and season debut of Jack Gallant (Los Angeles, Calif.).

Dallas placed five scorers in double figures that included a quartet of starters. Nunn led the wasy with 14 points as he hit four of his six field goal attempts from three-point territory. Fruhwirth followed with 12 points, while Norton tossed in 11. The duo each grabbed five rebounds. Uniikye Washington (Arlington, Texas) posted a personal-best 10 points while going 4-for-5 off the bench with a 2-for-3 from deep. Toussaint garnered eight boards to match a game-high, while Mathis dished five assists.

The team's 11 three-pointers made marked the fifth time this season to reach the mark. Dallas has won four in a row when achieving the feat. This was also the second game in a row the team swiped exactly seven steals. Wambsganss had a team-high four. The Crusaders won the rebounding battle 43-28 and dished out eight more assists (21-13). UD only made 11 turnovers while forcing 15. This led to a 27-14 edge on points from turnovers in favor of the home team. Finally, Dallas had big advantages on points in the paint (44-27) and bench points (39-9).

The Knights were led by Travis Gagau with 19 points, six rebounds, and five assists. The team's leading scorer on the season was held to four in the first half. Eliab Quinones tallied 15 points, while Willie Smith added 12 and matched a game-high eight rebounds.

The Crusaders finished their non-conference part of the schedule 3-6, winning their last two after dropping four in a row in such matchups.



Dallas continues its last home stand with the remaining three against Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) opponents. Centenary College visits on February 5 for a 7:30 p.m. tip-off after the women's game.