SHERMAN, Texas –The Austin College men's basketball team fell 78-60 against Texas Lutheran on Saturday evening in Hughey Gym as the Bulldogs used a strong rebounding performance and stingy defense to pull away in the second half. The 'Roos are now 6-9 overall and 2-4 in Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference play.
Austin College was held to 33.9% shooting from the field and knocked down just 1-of-13 attempts from beyond the arc in the game, and TLU turned 15 offensive rebounds into 15 second chance points, compared to just four second chance points for the 'Roos. Overall, the Bulldogs held a 46-33 rebounding edge in the game.
The 'Roos got off to a hot start, taking an 11-3 lead less than four minutes into the game, but Texas Lutheran began to chip away and took the lead at 17-16 on an alley-oop dunk by Jackson Willoughby. Derek Lockman answered with a three, but TLU responded with a 12-0 run to go on top 29-19 with 4:37 left before halftime. The lead grew to as much as 11, and the Bulldogs would take a 36-27 edge into the break.
Texas Lutheran maintained a cushion of between six and 10 points for the first seven minutes of the second half until Justice Mercadel scored to cut it to a 50-46 game, but six straight for the Bulldogs once again pushed it to a double-digit margin. A basket by Kam Hogan cut it to 61-56 with 6:03 left but that's as close as things would get, with TLU closing the game on a 17-4 run over the game's final minutes.
Hogan led Austin College with 21 points on 7-of-15 shooting, and Devin Roland added 14. Michael Holland chipped in 10 points and seven rebounds, and Mercadel grabbed a team-best 11 boards in the loss.
Harris Jowell had 17 points and 14 rebounds to lead Texas Lutheran, as five player reached double-figures for the Bulldogs. Jacob Kouremetis hit 4-of-8 from deep to finish with 14, and Alex Cage came off the bench to add 14.
Austin College heads on the road next weekend, taking on Centenary on Friday in Shreveport.