By Jake Loel
While their peers were enjoying the comfort and rest of Thanksgiving break, the men’s basketball team spent their break on the road. On Nov. 28, the men traveled to the Portland, Ore. area, where they took on the Linfield College Wildcats. According to udallasathletics.com, the Crusaders started off slow and were down 8 points at the half. However, they managed to pull off a 61-51 win in the second half.
The next day, the Crusaders faced the Portland Bible College Wildcats. The Crusaders commanded the court for almost the entire game, and eventually won with a score of 72-60.
On Dec. 3, the Crusaders took on the Knights of Southwestern Adventist University in their home opener. The Crusaders gained an early lead, with sophomore guard Michael Sarrat scoring all three of his first three-point shots, plus two free throws, giving the Crusaders 11 of their first 13 unanswered points. In a post-game interview, captain Mark Promberger praised Sarrat.
“Mike Sarrat…he’s been playing awesome. He’s the only starter who isn’t a senior; he’s the future of the team… he’ll be here for a long time,” said Promberger. The Crusaders continued to drain threes throughout the first half.
At halftime, the Crusaders had taken a comfortable 45-28 lead, but not before sophomore center Tom Kaiser sustained a leg injury and left the court limping. Promberger said he was not sure how bad the injury was, but he mentioned that Kaiser had also suffered a head injury. This is startling news because, according to Promberger, “He’s a huge part of our team.” Kaiser had been averaging about 21 minutes and nine points per game, and he has had 33 rebounds this season. In the second half, Promberger scored an early layup, followed by eight points unanswered by senior shooting guard Blaine Blackburn.
The Southwestern Adventist Knights had 11 men at the game, compared to the 20-man squad who dressed for the Crusaders, and the difference showed. By the second half, the Knights were tripping over their feet, obviously exhausted. The Knights’ point guard especially looked exhausted, as he played almost the entire game. After securing a large lead, the Crusaders pulled their starters and played through their entire squad, winning 85-61.
On Saturday, the Crusaders took on the Majors of Millsaps College in Jackson, Miss. The Crusaders had a slow start, racking up 14 turnovers while the Majors only had five. The University of Dallas did not take the lead until about halfway through the second half, but would go on to relinquish it in the final minutes of the game, ultimately falling to the Majors 63-57.
This loss ended the Crusaders’ seven-game winning streak, the best since the 2000-2001 season’s record of 12 straight wins. Though the streak was broken, such an explosive start can hold nothing but promise for the rest of the season
The Crusaders now have a small respite from road games. They take on El Centro College on Dec. 11, and after that game, they do not play again until Dec. 30, when they will take on the Illinois College Blueboys.