SHREVEPORT, La. – The University of Dallas men's basketball team snapped a three-game winning streak on the road trip Friday evening at the Gold Dome to Centenary College by a final score of 86-78. Dallas held a narrow one-point lead at halftime, but the Gents were able to capitalize on a 14-point difference (24-10) on turnovers.
The Crusaders outshot their opponent 49 percent to 47 percent, and were led by Michael Wambsganss (Denver, Colo.) with 19 points. He hit four of the team's nine three-pointers. Spencer Levi (St. Louis, Mo.) produced another big outing with 17 points and 12 rebounds for his 14th double-double (ninth in conference).
Dallas fell to 12-9 on the season and are 5-5 in conference play, while the Gents improved to 12-8 overall and 6-4 for sole possession of second place in the league. The teams split the season series with each side having prevailed on its home court.
HOW IT HAPPENED
UD jumped out to its largest lead of the game within the first seven minutes at 16-5. Darrius Colvin (Waco, Texas) had picked off a steal and was able to draw the foul on a made layup. His free throw counted to finish the old fashioned three-point play.
It had been a low-scoring start, as Joshua Nunn's (St. Louis, Mo.) trifecta three minutes prior had opened an 11-3 advantage. The early lead for UD wavered throughout the opening stanza, but the guests were able to stay up for nearly the entire duration before the break. Centenary cut the deficit to two points on a trio of occasions around the midway juncture, but the Crusaders had an answer each time. This included a couple three-pointers from Wambsganss and Emmanuel Calton (Keller, Texas). A triple by Dustin Mathis (Fort Worth, Texas) increased the lead for UD back to eight with 2:11 in the first.
Centenary scored eight of the last nine points through the halftime buzzer. The final five points by Travion Kirkendoll made it a 35-34 halftime lead for the Crusaders. Dallas did have an edge in points in the paint (18-12) and second chance points (11-5) at that moment.
At 17:41 in the second half, the Gents took their first lead since 3-2 on a pair of free throws by Kaharri Carter. Things went back-and-forth over the next few minutes. Wambsganss drilled a game-tying three to make it even at 45 with 14 minutes remaining. However, a jumper by Treylan Matthews put the home team up the rest of the way.
A layup by Cedric Harris with around nine left opened up the biggest deficit for Dallas at that time of game 62-55. Wambsganss countered immediately on the next possession with a trifecta. The freshman tallied the next seven UD points with a couple free throws and layup to keep it a one possession game.
Centenary was able to stretch the lead the last seven minutes. After a layup by Calton cut things as close as they would get for the Crusaders the rest of the way at 4:47, a 10-2 run propelled the Maroon and White to an 81-68 advantage. Dallas was able to clip the gap to eight twice under the last minute, but were unable to gain any closer ground.
The Gents enjoyed a 24-12 edge for points in the paint and 13-4 advantage on points off turnovers in the last 20 minutes.
A quintet of Dallas players reached double figures in the scoring column. After Wambsganss and Levi was Calton with a career-high 14 points. Nunn and Colvin each chipped in 10. The Crusaders' bench finished with 22 points, as Wambsganss led the way with 19.
The Crusaders were 25-of-51 shooting from the floor. They also shot 42.9 percent from three and 63.3 percent (19-30) at the free throw line. Levi pulled down a game-high on the glass, which Dallas edged slightly 36-34. The Gents did hold a 13-8 lead on offensive rebounds. UD committed 18 turnovers, while its opponent made 11.
Centenary was led individually by Kirkendoll with 25 points and 11-for-19 field goal shooting. Harris followed with 24 points and nine boards for a near double-double. He also made 5-of-8 from three. Matthews chipped in 13 bench points.
Levi has scored double-digits in eight straight games, and in all 10 SCAC matchups.
Levi ended a 19-game streak of having recorded at least one blocked shot.
Dallas had at least 10 offensive rebounds the previous three games on this road trip.
Final | #UDCrusaders Men's Basketball falls at Centenary on Friday night. Wambsganss led all scorers, while Levi posted 14th double-double! Calton added a career-high! | @UDallasMBB #GoUD #UDMBB #SCACmbb #d3h pic.twitter.com/O67OxZypOu— UDallas Athletics (@UDallasSports) February 3, 2018
Dallas wraps up the five-game road trip on Saturday at Austin College. First tip is scheduled at 4 p.m.