James O’Toole, Contributing Writer
After falling in a heartbreaking overtime loss to Arlington Baptist College this past Thursday, the University of Dallas men’s basketball team dominated the Millsaps College Majors to raise its record to 4-2 Saturday afternoon.
The Crusaders fell behind early in the first half to the Arlington Baptist Patriots, heading into the locker room at halftime facing a 13-point deficit. During a first half plagued by a poor defense, the Crusaders needed to lock down the Patriot scoring attack. By halftime, the Crusaders had allowed the Patriots to shoot a blistering 50 percent from the field and 46 percent from behind the three-point arc.
The Crusaders came back from halftime with a passion. They climbed back into the game with a staunch defense, holding the Patriots’ torrid offense back to only 34 percent shooting in the second half. On the offensive side, captain Ross Davidson scored 21 of his game high 34 points in the second half to pace UD.
UD built a 65-61 lead with 3:52 to play, only to watch it slip away. Arlington Baptist went on a 6-2 run to even the score at 67 to send the game into an extra period. Despite three lead changes in overtime, the Crusaders succumbed to the Patriot attack 82-79. The Patriots saw four players finish with double figures and outscored the Crusaders 40-34 in the paint, despite Davidson’s dominant performance. Seniors Nate Wilson and Aaron Wyatt finished with 17 and 12 points, respectively.
The Crusaders returned Saturday looking to rebound from their overtime loss. They came out strong from the gate, holding the Millsaps Majors to 37 percent shooting. Aaron Wyatt led the offense, closing the first half with 10 points on 4-7 shooting. UD headed in to halftime with a commanding 34-25 lead and never looked back.
The Crusaders shot a tidy 42 percent from the field and dominated the glass, out-rebounding the Majors 37-24. Wyatt led all UD scorers with 17 points and nine rebounds; guard Nate Wilson added nine points and 13 boards. Sean Bambace provided a spark for the Crusaders coming off the bench, finishing with 11 points on 4-4 shooting. UD was also happy to see injured guard Kym Malone return to the lineup. Malone added three points in 14 minutes of work coming off the bench.
The Crusaders’ next home game will not be until Jan. 4, 2014, against Colorado College, when UD opens SCAC play.