It was not pretty, nor was it the best effort given by the University of Dallas men’s basketball team, but the victory was all that mattered at the end of the day. Sophomore guard/forward Austin DiCambio believes it might have been the ugliest loss of the season, if not for the incredible halftime speech of head coach Jarred Samples.
It was a tale of two very different halves — at the end of the first 20 minutes, Southwestern Adventist University had a 35-50 lead. The Crusaders were getting completely dismantled on the defensive end, since they were out-rebounded and out-hustled for second chance points. The energy was clearly not there.
“We were suffering from some fatigue after the weekend,” DiCambio said. “We weren’t prepared for the game mentally or physically, and we underestimated the other team.”
At halftime, the coaches did their best to get things turned around. The halftime heroics seemed to work, with UD responding very positively in the second half, dropping in 41 points and only allowing 24 points.
With six seconds left on the clock and the Crusaders trailing 74-73, freshman shooting guard Darrius Colvin drained a 3-point shot to complete the comeback. Although Monday’s game was perhaps a little too close for comfort, it still proved to be the third straight victory for a team that seems to be turning the corner.
“Winning two home games this weekend was great,” Samples said. “It puts us right back in the middle of things in our league standings. Hopefully it gave us some confidence and momentum going forward.”
Colvin’s last-second shot is just one example of several new and young players taking on prominent roles on this year’s team.
“Every year and team is different,” Samples said. “It took us some time at the beginning of the year to understand and identify roles, and there is also a learning curve for the new guys.”
Monday’s game capped a very successful five-game span for the Crusaders, which included a huge victory over Trinity University last Thursday night. The team improved to 9-8 overall, but will have to play a more complete game when they visit Trinity this Friday for their eighth conference game.