SHREVEPORT, La. – The University of Dallas men's basketball team fell to Centenary College 77-73 on Saturday evening in the season finale. The Crusaders (12-13, 8-10 SCAC) led 36-35 at halftime. Both teams went back-and-forth in the scoring column in the second half. With 2:56 remaining Jai Love (St. Louis, Mo.) put UD ahead with his jumper, but Centenary went on a 6-0 run to retake the lead and go up 75-71 with 26 seconds remaining. Five seconds later, Love drained another jump shot to give Dallas life. Seth Thomas made two more free throws for Centenary, while the Crusaders could not buy a basket in the final ticks. UD would eventually be eliminated from the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) tournament at the end of the night because of the other outcomes across the league.
Dallas took a 12-6 lead with the help of two three-pointers from Isaiah Hayes (Arlington, Texas). Centenary then went on a 6-0 run to tie the game up at the 13:38 mark. Every time UD grew its lead by any narrow margin, the Gents would come back with a run of their own. UD fell behind 22-18 after Cedric Harris hit his three-pointer with nine minutes to play in the first half. Cameran Hyde (Missouri City, Texas) then hit a trey to pull Dallas within a point. Harris later hit a another three to put the Gents up 27-22. After falling behind 30-23, Love single handily brought back UD with five-straight points (30-28). Dallas ended the half on an 8-3 advantage to take a one point lead into the halftime break (36-35).
UD added to its lead and took a 47-41 lead five minutes into the second half. At the 11:17 mark, Centenary cut the lead to two (49-47). UD then used a 7-2 run to push its lead to 56-49 with just over 10 minutes to play. The Gents would get within a basket a couple of times, but UD would stand firm and not give away its lead. With 7:08 left, Centenary tied the game up at 61 a piece after Neil Hawkins made his two-point field goal. The game was tied four more times, but Dallas never surrendered its lead in this pivotal game, until the Gents put together two straight baskets with two minutes to play. Dallas hit one jumper in the final two and half minutes, as Centenary put together a strand of points to ice the game.
Love led Dallas with 21 points shooting 8-14 from the field and 4-6 from the free throw line. Letrell Toussaint (Waco, Texas) added 12 points, 12 rebounds, and a perfect 6-6 from the charity stripe. Hayes finished with 11 points and a career-high 10 rebounds for his first career double-double. Dallas shot 48% from the field and 79.2% from the free throw line, while making six three-pointers. Dallas won the rebound battle 34-31 and grabbed 25 points off its bench.
Centenary was paced by Harris with 19 points and seven rebounds. Hawkins added 16 points, as Thomas finished with 14 points and five steals. The Gents shot 4-23 (17.4%) from three-point range, but 28-62 (45.2%) from the field. Centenary scored 20 points off of 19 UD turnovers and had 15 second chance points in this game.
Dallas fell out of the top-six seeds in the conference standings after all of the outcomes from other SCAC games. With the loss tonight, UD fell into a four-way tie with Southwestern University, Schreiner University, and Trinity University at 8-10. The tie breaker scenario then was based upon head-to-head outcomes with other league opponents. Schreiner held the first tiebreaker with the best head-to-head among the four teams. Then with the remaining three teams splitting head-to-head games against one another, the tie break went to the team's records vs. top records. Both Schreiner and Southwestern had a win against Austin College, therefore they claimed the final two seeds. Only the top-six seeds make the SCAC tournament, with the exception of the University of St. Thomas (TX) and Johnson & Wales University (CO) who are ineligible for posteason play during their three-year transition period from the NAIA to the NCAA.
This has concluded the 2019-20 season.