Dallas Escapes Denver With 59-58 Victory Over Johnson & Wales University

Dallas Escapes Denver With 59-58 Victory Over Johnson & Wales University

DENVER, Colo. - The University of Dallas men's basketball team fell behind early after Johnson & Wales University went on a 10-0 and a 8-0 run in the first half. UD would find some rhythm in the second half and hold JWU to a 5-21 mark from three-point range for the game to take the lead. JWU cut into the Dallas lead late and forced UD to make free throws. With six seconds remaining with a 59-58 Dallas lead, UD missed the front end of the one-and-one which gave the Charles Young a chance at a long three-pointer that hit the rim, but missed to allow UD come escape Denver with a 59-58 victory to begin the New Year and secure its first Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) win on the season.  

Michael Wambsganss (Denver, Colo.) opened up the ballgame with a three-pointer. Dallas (5-5, 1-2 SCAC) would then fall behind 6-3 until Jacob Giunta (Keller, Texas) hit a three-pointer to tie up the game at six. UD would later grab a 10-9 lead after another Wambsganss three. Andray Thomas Jr. then got hot for the Wildcats. He hit a couple of treys on consecutive possessions as Johnson & Wales (2-9, 1-3 SCAC) would go on a 10-0 run and go up 19-10.  Letrell Toussaint (Waco, Texas) broke the drought with one made free throw at the line. JWU would eventually push its lead to 27-17 with another large run capped off by a Thomas Jr. lay-in.

On the next UD possession, Toussaint got fouled while making the basket and finished off an old fashioned three-point play at the free throw line to break the Wildcats run once again. This sparked a Crusaders run as they outscored JWU 8-0 in a three-minute span. Jai Love (St. Louis, Mo.) hit a trey and Toussaint kept dominating inside the paint on this run. UD cut the lead down to 10 at the halftime break after a few successful attempts at the charity stripe. JWU took a 31-21 lead into the locker room at the halftime break. Thomas Jr. led all scorers with 14 points in the first half.

UD come out hot in the second half dropping the first seven points to make it a three point game (31-28). JWU answered on the other end with a three-pointer, but Dustin Mathis (Fort Worth, Texas) answered with a three of his own. The Wildcats held onto a 34-28 lead  at the first media timeout. John Russell (Bossier City, La.) then battled in the paint to give UD some hard-earned buckets to get the Crusaders within three points (36-33). Wambsganss hit a big trey to tie the game at 36 at the 13:48 mark. Giunta then gave Dallas its first since UD had a 10-9 lead with back-to-back lay ins (40-38). Both teams traded buckets, but JWU inched closer with a 8-0 run and was able to make it a 52-51 game with 2:31 left to play. Thomas Jr. made two free throws with a minute left to play, but UD held onto a 57-55 lead. Love hit two key free throws with 17 seconds remaining (59-55). Following that, Thomas Jr. hit a three-pointer on the other end to keep the Wildcats chances alive. Wambsganss then got fouled, but missed the front end of the one and one with six seconds left which allowed Charles Young a solid three-point heave attempt which hit the rim as time expired to allow Dallas was able to escape Denver with the victory.

Wambsganss led Dallas with 12 points shooting 4-12 from behind the arc. Toussaint added 11 points, while Giunta gathered 10 points. Love made four of six shots from the free throw line as he went on to finish with nine points.

Thomas Jr. led all scorers with 24 points including four made three-pointers. Kaleb Atherley went for 19 points and nine rebounds. No other Wildcat had more than five points.

UD gathered 19 points from its bench and made 22 points within the paint on the evening even though they lost the rebound battle 38-29. The Crusaders shot 9-27 (33.3%) from behind the arc and 10-15 (66.7%) from the free throw line.

JWU would secure 30 points in the paint and outshoot Dallas from the field with a 40.7% (24-59) mark in the losing effort.



Dallas continues the Colorado trip with a 4 p.m. (MST) tip-off tomorrow at Colorado College. After that, UD will be back home at the friendly confines of the Maher Center for two SCAC games next weekend (Jan. 10-11). On Friday the Crusaders will host Trinity University at 5:30 p.m. Saturday will feature Schreiner University visiting Irving with first tip scheduled for 4:00 p.m.