After the Crusaders’ game against Austin College on Friday, sophomore forward Prince Giadolor talked about the attitude that they brought to the day’s contest.
“All year we having been talking about battling adversity,” Giadolor said. “We just tried our best to respond positively.”
Respond positively is exactly what the University of Dallas men’s team did on Friday, when they brought home an 86-69 win to help kick off Groundhog weekend on a positive note.
Giadolor had a strong game with 16 points and four assists. Joining him among the top scorers on the team was fellow sophomore guard Darrius Colvin, was the highest-scoring player that day with 25 points and nine rebounds.
This is the second time this season Colvin has scored 25 points in a game and most of these shots happened in the first half.
“I played pretty well the first half,” Colvin said of his own performance. “Second half was not that good but the team got the ‘W’ and that is all that matters.”
Colvin added that senior guard Lorenzo Gonzalez had a really good game overall with a great second half.
Gonzalez scored 17 points and shot eight for eight in free throws.
“I was just trying to knock them in, expand the lead, give us some breathing room,” Gonzalez said.
During the first half, the Crusaders and the Roos were neck and neck. Then the second half came around and the Crusaders were on their A-game.
When asked to comment about the turnaround, Gonzalez echoed Giadolor’s assertion that they have been coached to deal with adversity.
“A big thing for us is to stay focused, be engaged, and to play together. When we do that, we play with anyone,” assistant coach Umar Hamidullah said.
Hamidullah also explained that they have to move the ball more.
“[When] the ball is moving, the guys get energized, they cut more, they play harder on defense, they talk more,” Hamidullah said.
When asked to comment on Sunday’s upcoming game against Centenary College, Hamidullah said:
“[The Gents] are a strong athletic team. [We will win by] being able to not back down, not be reactionary, being able to throw the first punch, not wait until we are hit and stumbling, hit from the start with physicality and aggression and moving the basketball.”
At halftime on Sunday, freshman John Russell said in a quick interview, “We were not finishing, the refs are not calling much, defensively we are playing much better in transition than we did the first time we play these guys [but] we are only shooting 28 percent from the field right now,” freshman John Russell said at halftime on Sunday.
The trouble did not stop there. The Crusaders struggled in the second half to maintain any sort of lead, and in the last five minutes the Gents broke away and led by double digits to end the game 68-82.
“It knocks us out of the race [for the conference tournament] just a little bit more,” student broadcaster Kevin McGuirk said. “ [The] good news is we have three more conference games so we still have a chance to get back in”
“We just did not respond well,” senior center Tom Kaiser said, when asked what went wrong.
“I thought we fought hard,” Giadolor said simply.
Despite the loss, Giadolor and Kaiser were not too sad, in part because they were proud of their teammate, senior guard Michael Sarrat, who made his way into the 1000 point club by scoring a 3-pointer in the first half of the game. Both players made sure to congratulate Sarrat in their comments.
After watching the game, McGuirk had nothing but praise for Sarrat and the team’s skill in the face of adversity.
“I would say the silver lining today was the all-around effort by the team,” McGuirk said. “We played a team that is very athletic, and being able to actually be ahead of them for most of the thirty five minutes, shows should we could very well be fortunate enough to win our last few games.”