IRVING, Texas – The University of Dallas men's basketball team fell in its Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) competition to Austin College 96-85 on Tuesday evening. The Kangaroos used a 47-35 advantage in rebounds and made 32 of 43 free throws on the night to grow a large lead. UD (9-7, 5-4 SCAC) only turned the ball over 12 times on the evening, but Austin took advantage of these mishaps scoring 22 points off of turnovers. Austin (8-8, 5-4 SCAC) was hot from three-point range in the first half (5-6), but UD cooled them off in the second half (1-8) to gain some ground. AC found other ways to score points in second period as they converted 24 made free throws off of 33 attempts. UD cut the once 16-point deficit down to three with nine minutes left to play, but AC hit key shots to regrow its lead and made free throws in the final minutes to take the conference victory.
On a night the Crusaders notched their second-highest points total on the season, UD fell behind 7-4 early but went up 8-7 five minutes into the game after the Crusaders scored four straight points. The 'Roos then hit back-to-back treys to go up 13-8. Dallas inched closer and Scott Bolen (Houston, Texas) was able to pull UD even at 18 with his hard-earned layup. AC then went on an 8-0 terror to go back up on top 26-18. The 'Roos went on to stay hot from the field and pushed its lead to 16 with 2:51 left to play in the first half. UD concluded the half on a 9-5 run to make it a 13-point game at the halftime break (47-34).
About the 15-minute mark of the second half UD started to cut into this large deficit. After an AC made layup, Cameran Hyde (Missouri City, Texas) hit a key three-pointer to spark the Crusaders offense. Hyde and Bolen combined to help UD outscore the 'Roos 9-2 and make it a four-point game at the 12:09 mark. After Austin hit a few jump shots, Hyde finished his lay-in to get UD within three points and its closest margin since early in the first half. Then a scoring frenzy broke out, as both teams kept hitting shots, and AC grew its lead to 74-67 with five and half minutes left to play. Bolen was able to cut the lead down to five points with five minutes to play, but AC would outscore Dallas 22-16 in the final minutes, making 16 free throws in the final stretch.
Austin College was led by three players in the ballgame. Justice Mercadel (9-11 from the field) had a game-high 23 points, while Devin Roland and Michael Holland (7-13 from the field) both finished with 21 and 20 points, respectively. The next closest Kangaroos in the scoring total were Kam Hogan and Jaylyn Cleamons who each had seven points. Holland led the 'Roos with 10 rebounds and five assists on the night. 96 points is the most scored versus UD on the 2019-20 campaign.
Jai Love (St. Louis, Mo.) and Letrell Toussaint (Waco, Texas) both paced Dallas with 15 points. Dustin Mathis (Forth Worth, Texas) went for 14 points, while Hyde and Bolen both picked up 14 and 11 points, respectively off the Dallas bench. UD shot 28-67 (41.8%) from the field and 10-32 (31.3% from behind the arc. The Crusaders finished the night 19-29 (65.5%) from the charity stripe. Love dished out a game-best seven assists. UD gained 35 points from its bench tonight, while Austin was limited to just 19. Toussaint had a career-high 15 points tonight, and was a rebound away from a double-double, but reached double-figures for the third time this season.
Dallas will rematch Austin College on Saturday in Sherman at 2:00 p.m. to begin the second half of league play.