'Roo Men Fall to Dallas as Crusaders Pull Away Late

'Roo Men Fall to Dallas as Crusaders Pull Away Late

SHERMAN, Texas – The Austin College men's basketball team went back and forth with the University of Dallas but the Crusaders out-scored the 'Roos 41-22 in the final 12 minutes, and Austin College fell 99-80 on Saturday night in Hughey Gym. The 'Roos are now 4-18 overall and 2-9 in Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference play.

Four 'Roos hit double-digits in the scoring column with Justice Mercadel leading the way with 21 points, but Austin College shot just 38.2% from the field while Dallas hit 50% from the floor and knocked down 6-of-9 threes and out-scored the 'Roos 37-to-11 at the free throw line. Michael Holland had 18 points and nine boards, and Kam Hogan had 17 points, five rebounds, and four assists in the loss.

After the 'Roos jumped out to a 5-2 lead, Dallas scored eight unanswered, and held a 15-11 edge with 12:58 left in the opening half. Holland's three cut it to a one-point game, but Dallas used a 13-4 run to go on top 28-18 with 7:41 left before the break. The 'Roos would not go away, however, and Kam Hogan's three pointer cut it to a 45-42 margin before Dallas scored at the buzzer to head into the locker room leading 47-42.

Austin College scored the first nine points of the second half to take a 51-47 lead, with Hogan knocking down another triple to cap off the scoring run. Holland buried another trey to keep Austin College ahead 54-49 with 16:13 left, but the Crusaders fought back to square things up at 58 apiece with 12:43 left.

The Crusaders took control from that point forward, and a bucket by Spencer Levi gave UD a 73-62 cushion with 8:17 left to play. The lead grew to 22 after Michael Wambsganss hit back-to-back threes to give Dallas an 87-65 lead with 5:05 remaining, and the Crusaders would lead by as many as 23 points in the game's closing minutes.

Mercadel hit 7-of-15 shots to get his 21 points, and the 'Roos made 11-of-30 three pointers in the game as a team. Dallas also held a 48-35 advantage on the glass. Austin Wells rounded out the 'Roo scorers in double-digits with 10 points, and Zach Nickens came off the bench to swat six shots.

Levi led both teams with 23 points, 13 rebounds, and five assists, and Joshua Nunn added 20 points for Dallas. Wambsganss hit 4-of-6 from deep on his way to 17 points off the bench.

Austin College is on the road for its next two games, as the 'Roos head to Southwestern and Texas Lutheran next Friday and Saturday.

Austin College athletic teams participate as a member of the NCAA Division III and the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference.