SAN ANTONIO, Texas - Justice Mercadel poured in 31 points, grabbed 15 rebounds, and dished out seven assists but the Austin College men's basketball team was edged on the road by Trinity 95-90 on Friday night. The 'Roos are now 3-15 overall and 1-6 in Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference play.
Austin College fell behind 8-0 early on before finding a rhythm offensively, with Josh Hardwick and Kameron Hill each knocking down a three to pull the 'Roos to within five at 22-17 with 11:28 left before halftime. Hardwick hit another triple to make it 26-23, but every time Austin College got close, the Tigers would answer, pushing the margin back out to 34-27 with 7:18 showing on the clock. Quinten Tabor's three got the deficit down to one at 34-33, but the Tigers would pull away late in the half to take a 47-41 edge into the locker room.
Mercadel got the scoring started in the second half and Michael Holland drilled back-to-back three pointers as Austin college used an 8-0 run to take a 49-47 lead with 18:53 left, but Trinity responded with an 11-2 run of its own to grab a 58-51 lead. Hill knocked down two more threes to keep things close at 60-57, but the Tigers were able to extend the margin to nine at 74-65 with 8:48 left in the game.
After trailing 84-75, the 'Roos would get a bucket from Mercadel and another trey from Hill to pull to within four at 84-80 with 4:33 remaining. Trinity used a small 6-2 run to go on top 90-82, but Austin College closed the gap with two baskets from Mercadel and a layup from Kam Hogan to pull to within two points at 90-88 with 45 seconds remaining. That's as close as things would get, however, as Austin College was unable to overtake the Tigers down the stretch.
Mercadel made 14-of-21 shots and 2-of-3 threes to get his career-high 31 points, and added three steals to his stat line. Hogan added 18 points with three steals of his own, and Hill hit 4-of-9 from long distance on his way to 15 points. Austin College shot 45.3% from the field and 44.8% from three, but made just 9-of-17 free throws while Trinity knocked down 32-of-43 foul shots.
Danny Rivara led Trinity with 30 points, hitting 14-of-17 free throws and grabbing seven boards. Jayden Holden added 16 points and Matt Jones chipped in 10 points and six assists.
Austin College is back in Hughey Gym on Friday night when they host Schreiner at 6:00 p.m., before taking on Trinity again on Sunday, January 28 at 12:00 p.m.