Crusaders Fend Off Southwestern University to Grab 72-66 Road Victory

Crusaders Fend Off Southwestern University to Grab 72-66 Road Victory

GEORGETOWN, Texas – The University of Dallas men's basketball team took care of a pesky Southwestern University team 72-66 on Saturday afternoon. The Crusaders (9-6-5-3 SCAC) got past the Pirates thanks to a 21-point effort from Dustin Mathis (Fort Worth, Texas), a career-best 18 points from Jai Love (St. Louis, Mo.) and another 14 points from Michael Wambsganss (Denver, Colo.). Southwestern (8-8, 4-5 SCAC) had 12 second chance points, notched 38 of its points in the paint and were awarded 17 points from its bench to keep it a close game all the way to the end. Dallas kept up the pressure making layups after every SU shot in the final minutes and finished the game off well at the free throw line, despite losing the rebound total 48-32. UD also limited SU to a 1-16 (6.3%) from three-point range for the game, which was a key determinant in taking the road Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) win.

Dallas started the game out with a 7-3 advantage after Love scored the easy lay-in. A 5-0 SU run gave the Pirates its first lead (8-7) at the 14:51 mark. UD went on a roll, with a 9-0 run thanks to two big three-pointers from Mathis. At this point Southwestern would not let UD pull away. The Crusaders would go up by as many as six, but SU would come back and make it a two-point game at the 4:37 mark after Brandon Alexander started to find his touch. UD would eventually take a narrow 28-25 lead into the halftime break with a lot of work yet to do.

The Pirates took advantage of a UD turnover to start the second half and converted a layup on the other end to pull within one point. Love and Mathis hit back-to-back three pointers to extend the Dallas lead to 36-29. An 8-1 Pirates run tied up the game at 37 with a couple of buckets from Trenton Garrett. Back and forth both teams fought for it all. After SU tied the game up once again at 43, they gained back their first lead of the game (45-43) since it was 8-7. Mathis put UD back out in front with a big trey. SU then grabbed its biggest lead (52-46) with seven minutes left to play. The Crusaders stormed back with an 8-0 run to retake the lead. Both teams knew the importance of this game and traded buckets down the stretch. It was 61-60 Dallas at the 1:38 mark and this was when UD put the Pirates chances almost out of reach. Seven straight points put the Crusaders up 68-60 with 39 seconds remaining, but SU was determined to fight back. Two straight layups for SU dwindled the Dallas lead to 68-64 with 17 seconds left. Southwestern had to foul at this point of the game, and UD stayed calm under pressure to knock down the shots at the line. UD would take the victory in Georgetown in the end and gain a much-needed conference win.  

Wambsganss led Dallas with three steals. Love had five assists, which is the most for him in a game since Nov. 19th  at Southwestern Adventist University. Toussaint led UD with 10 rebounds, including nine off the defensive glass, while John Russell (Bossier City, La.) added six rebounds. UD shot 10-16 (62.5%) from the free throw line and 27-65 (41.5%) from the field, while also knocking down eight three pointers in the game. Love and Mathis both hit seven field goals each to help propel UD.  

Kyle Howard had a game-high 23 points to lead the Pirates, as Alexander added 17 points. Garrett had the next highest total with nine points along with 13 rebounds. 20 of the Pirates rebounds came on the offensive side of the court. SU made 17 of its 24 shots of the charity stripe (70.8%) and 24-68 (35.3%) from the field. Howard shot the best from the field for the Pirates (9-14).

Both teams had 12 turnovers, as UD converted 15 points off of these mishaps and Southwestern took 12 points off of turnovers.

With the Crusaders victory today, Jared Samples picked up its 130th career victory.



Dallas will host Austin College next Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.