The men’s basketball team hit the road this weekend to rematch Southwestern University on Friday and Texas Lutheran University on Saturday, with a schedule almost identical to last week’s.
The Crusaders, who took a heavy loss against the Southwestern Pirates last week in a hotly-contested game, managed to pull out a 72-66 win on Saturday. The first half saw no clear leader until the last two and a half minutes, when the Crusaders put up 10 points to the Pirate’s two, securing a 36-33 lead. In the second half, the Crusaders and the Pirates were back and forth until a pair of free throws by freshman guard Anthony Johnson secured the Crusaders’ victory, as the Pirates were never able to catch up, despite a surge which brought them within two.
The game cap on udallasathletics.com credits the Crusaders’ victory to their fantastic free throw shooting, which was 83.3 percent compared to the Pirate’s 65.7 percent. The Crusaders’ big men came in clutch once again, with senior Mark Promberger notching up 14 points while senior Aaron Wyatt and sophomore Tom Kaiser had eight rebounds each. Wyatt had 12 points while Johnson managed to eke out 10, the only freshman to score double digits in the game.
The next day, while their peers spent their day cheering on the University of Dallas baseball and the Rugby teams, running the 5K and enjoying the Groundhog festivities, the men’s basketball team traveled to Seguin, Texas for a game against the Bulldogs of TLU.
The Bulldogs dominated the Crusaders throughout the first half, which led to an ultimate score of 80-74 in favor of the Bulldogs. The Bulldog defense proved to be almost impenetrable for the Crusaders, who experienced scoring droughts for up to nine minutes. With three minutes to go in the second half, the Crusaders found themselves down 19 points.
When the halftime buzzer sounded, the Crusaders had only 27 points to the Bulldogs’ 44. A halftime lecture by Coach James Samples must have re-inspired the Crusaders, because, during the first 10 minutes of the second half the Crusaders managed to go on a 21-8 run to come within four points of the Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs, however, had no intention of going down easily and ultimately won, despite only scoring 36 points to the Crusaders’ 47 in the second half. The Crusaders’ spectacular second-half efforts were due in part to senior point guard Kym Malone, who put up 19 points, tying his season high. Kaiser led the team in rebounds, notching nine, while Michael Sarrat, one of the team’s leading scorers, struggled, hitting only seven points.
The Crusaders take on Centenary College of Louisiana this Friday at home at 8 p.m., and then return again to the Maher Athletic Center the following evening to take on Colorado College. The Crusaders look to avenge their previous losses to both squads. Centenary steamrolled the Crusaders earlier in the season, while the Colorado College Tigers eked out a win by small a margin just a few weeks ago.