The Austin College men's basketball had things clicking offensively on Friday night, but could not quite keep pace with Centenary College in a 94-84 loss in Hughey Gym. The 'Roos fall to 8-15 overall and 4-10 in Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference play with the loss.
Austin College was celebrating senior night and its seniors got off to a hot start, with Ransom Okpala knocking down a pair of early threes to help put the 'Roos on top 11-5 with 15:19 left in the opening half. Centenary responded with a 9-0 run to grab a three point lead, but a pair of treys by Alan Sullivan helped the 'Roos regain the lead at 23-19 with 10:31 left before the break.
Centenary surged ahead to a 36-29 lead, and despite a three from Jordan Hancock and a jumper from Brian Baehl to keep it close at 41-34 with 2:23 left, the Gents pushed the lead to 48-34 before Baehl knocked down a pair of free throws and Cody Meyers drilled a triple to cut it to a 49-39 game at the break.
Threes from Austin Freet and Okpala brought the 'Roos to within four at 58-54 just over four minutes into the second half, and a Jimmy King layup cut it to a 62-60 margin with 13:37 to play. Centenary countered with a 9-3 run, and a pair of Jonathan Blount maintained a healthy eight point margin at 78-70 with 7:08 on the clock. Baehl and Sullivan each hit threes and Freet scored to cap off an 8-0 run to square things at 78 with 4:54 left, but the Gents would score the next six to regain an 84-78 lead.
The lead grew to 90-82 with 48 seconds left, and the 'Roos were never able to trim the margin to under eight the rest of the way.
Baehl established a new career-high with 25 points and added five assists, and Okpala hit 5-of-9 threes on his way to 21 points for the 'Roos. Sullivan came off the bench to score 15 and grab four boards, while Freet pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds and scored seven points.
Blount poured in 36 to lead Centenary and added eight rebounds, and Caden Cheramie was the only other Centenary player to reach double-digits with 18 points.
Austin College wraps up the regular season at 5:00 p.m. on Sunday when they take on UC Santa Cruz before heading to San Antonio next week for the SCAC Tournament.
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 residential 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.