The Austin College men's basketball team trailed by 28 with 5:28 left but battled all the way back to within seven points late, but the furious comeback bid would fall short as the 'Roos fell 94-84 to Elmhurst College on Wednesday afternoon in Hughey Gym. The 'Roos are now 2-3 overall this season.
Austin College jumped out to a 10-7 lead early after a pair of early three pointers from Kevin Graham, but a 10-2 run by Elmhurst made it 17-12 with 11:50 left in the opening half. The 'Roos chipped away and got it back to a 19-17 game on a three from Jordan Hancock, but the Bluejays responded with a 15-4 run to push it to a 34-21 game with 5:39 remaining.
A three point play by Brian Baehl cut it to 40-30, but Elmhurst pushed it back to an 11 point lead at the half, heading into the locker room with a 46-35 edge. The Bluejays shot 65.4% from the field in the first half and held a 23-11 rebounding margin, but the 'Roos were able to force them into 17 first half turnovers to keep it close.
Elmhurst pushed it to a 19 point lead six and a half minutes into the second half following a three from Bryant Ackerman to make it 61-42, and the lead expanded to 26 when an Elmhurst free throw made it 77-51 with 7:18 left in the game. The lead grew to 81-53 with 5:28 left, but the 'Roos began mounting their big comeback attempt with a three from Andres Rivera to cut it to 81-56.
Cody Meyers knocked down three straight threes and Alan Sullivan knocked down a jumper to make it 84-68 with 3:27 remaining, and Meyers knocked down another three to make it 86-73 with 1:50 left. Rivera and Graham each hit a three, and Meyers knocked down his fifth three of the half to make it 89-82 with 1:03 left in the game. However, that's as close as the 'Roos would get as the Bluejays knocked down five free throws in the final minute of action to make it a 94-84 final.
Meyers came off the bench to hit 5-of-8 threes on his way to a team-high 15 points for the 'Roos and Graham finished with 13. Ransom Okpala added 11 points, four rebounds, and three assists and Sullivan scored 10 and added four boards in the loss.
Kyle Wuest hit 8-of-11 shots overall and 4-of-5 from three to lead all scorers with 26 points for Elmhurst, and added nine rebounds and four assists. Ackerman, Nick Sanford, and Will Nixon each scored 15 for the Bluejays.
The 'Roos are back in action tomorrow as they host Hendrix at 6:00 p.m.
Austin College athletic teams participate as a member of the NCAA Division III and the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference.
About Austin College
Austin College is a leading national independent liberal arts college located north of Dallas in Sherman, Texas. Founded in 1849, making it the oldest institution of higher education in Texas operating under original charter and name, the college is related by covenant to the Presbyterian Church (USA). Recognized nationally for academic excellence in the areas of international education, pre-professional training, and leadership studies, Austin College is one of 40 schools profiled in Loren Pope's influential book Colleges that Change Lives.