The University of Dallas men’s basketball team has sunk into a hole they hope can be quickly remedied – they are now 10-11 overall and 4-7 in Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) play. T
he first contest on Friday against Colorado College was going smoothly up until halfway through the first half, at which point UD was holding onto a six-point lead. But as the Crusaders soon found out, basketball oftentimes comes down to a series of ‘runs,’ and, unfortunately, they were on the wrong end of one. Colorado exploded for 24 points, countered by only one Crusader field goal. The smallest deficit the Crusaders could reach was three points, giving up a net of 22 points straight — not exactly a recipe for success. The team fought back valiantly, but a marginally better defensive effort might have produced a different outcome.
Junior point guard Lorenzo Gonzalez shared the sentiment.
“We let our offensive woes affect our defensive effort,” Gonzalez said. “We had good shots that weren’t falling and let it affect us mentally on the other side.”
The Crusaders fell 63-67 heading into their next matchup, while Colorado improved to 14-8 and 9-2 within the SCAC. Things would not get any easier when the Crusaders visited Centenary on Sunday. Once again the game came down to a difference in field goal percentage, with UD being outshot by 11 percent (47.8-36.2). Rebounding was once again an Achilles’ heel for the men, who were also outscored in the paint 26-40. The Crusaders need to focus more on penetration into the paint if they want both of these numbers to go up.
Good signs from the weekend included the efforts of junior guard Michael Sarrat and Gonzalez. Sarrat poured in a team-high 25 points in the second game, including 18 in the second half, while Gonzalez continues his run as the most consistent player on the floor, reaching a career milestone of 500 points as a Crusader. In the coming weeks before playoffs, the men will attempt to fix some of the problems that plagued them over the weekend — mainly low bench production and weak defensive efforts.
These adjustments should provide a positive offensive catalyst as the Crusaders take on Texas Lutheran this Friday, Feb. 12th at 6 p.m. in the Maher Athletic Center.