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Hot-Shooting Rhodes Tops Austin College Men

Hot-Shooting Rhodes Tops Austin College Men

SHERMAN, Texas – Rhodes College knocked down 16 three pointers, including 10 in the first half as the Lynx built a 62-41 halftime lead, and the Austin College men's basketball team was unable to come from behind in a 120-103 loss on Saturday in Hughey Gym. The 'Roos are now 2-5 overall this season. 

Michael Holland and Zachary Nickens each scored 25 to pace the 'Roos against the Lynx, who came into the game as the second highest scoring team in all of NCAA Division III. The 'Roos were limited to just 37.1% shooting as a team in the first half, while also committing 14 turnovers before the break. The 'Roos turned things around and hit 61.5% from the field on their way to out-scoring the Lynx 62-58 after halftime, but Rhodes came up with big shots whenever the 'Roos threatened to come back. 

Austin College got off to a sluggish start offensively, with Rhodes knocking down three triples early on their way to building a 13-0 lead with 16:33 left in the opening half. Nickens converted a three-point-play at the 15:42 mark to finally get the 'Roos on the board, and back-to-back dunks by Nickens and Justice Mercadel capped an 11-4 run that cut it to a 17-11 game.

After Rhodes had taken a double-digit lead, Holland scored to cut it to 35-26 with 7:52 left before halftime but a 9-2 run pushed the Lynx lead to 45-28 two minutes later. Rhodes would close out the half strong, leading by as many as 23 points before heading into the locker room leading 62-41.

The Austin College offense started to come to life in the second half, getting the margin down to 15 at 83-68 with 12:33 left to play before the Lynx scored five quick points to push it back to a 20 point game. The 'Roos would not go away, however, getting it to a 93-79 game with 7:46 left but back-to-back turnovers on fast break opportunities and a missed layup on another breakaway turned the momentum back to the Lynx and kept Austin College from getting the margin back into single digits.

Austin College would get the deficit down to 13 at 96-83 but Rhodes would use a late 10-3 run to push it to a 116-94 lead with 2:36 to play to seal the game. 

Holland hit 7-of-13 shots and knocked down 11-of-14 free throws to get his 25 points and also hauled in 11 rebounds for his fourth straight double-double. Nickens made 11-of-15 shots to get to 25 points, adding seven boards. JP Feider came off the bench to chip in 14 points, Kam Hogan had 13 points and a career-best 10 assists, and Mercadel had 13 points, five assists, five blocks, and four steals.

Andrew Evans hit 4-of-8 threes to score a team-best 16 for Rhodes and Jake Nestlehutt hit 5-of-8 from long range on his way to 15 points. Anesu Nyawata and Bryce Berry each chipped in 14, and Kendrick Ashby had 10 points and 11 boards for Rhodes.

Austin College athletic teams participate as a member of the NCAA Division III and the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference.