The Austin College men's basketball team got 22 points from Alan Sullivan and used an 11-1 run midway through the second half to open things up and top the University of California Santa Cruz 67-57 on Sunday night in the home and regular season finale. The 'Roos are now 9-15 overall as they enter postseason play.
The 'Roos got out to a slow start offensively, falling behind 12-6 with 14:57 left before storming back to take a 19-18 lead, their first of the game, on a basket by Sullivan at the 8:07 mark. Sullivan scored nine of the team's next 11 points as the team pushed the lead out to 30-22 with 3:44 left in the opening half.
UC Santa Cruz battled back behind six points from James Townsend, but a Jimmy King jumper helped the 'Roos maintain a four point halftime lead at 32-28. The 'Roos hounded the Banana Slugs into seven first half turnovers and just 2-of-12 shooting from three point range.
The Banana Slugs surged ahead 35-34 early in the second half before the 'Roos went on their 11-1 run keyed by back to back threes from King and Brian Baehl. Sullivan scored five more points to help the 'Roos push the margin out to 49-38 with 10:25 left in the game, but UCSC battled back to trim it to a 51-46 game with just under eight minutes left.
The Banana Slugs pulled to within 57-54 with 2:54 left but King came up with a huge block on a three point attempt, and after getting fouled coming down with the rebound, sank both free throws. Ransom Okpala added a bucket to make it 63-54 with 44 seconds left, and four more free throws for the 'Roos helped seal the win.
Sullivan hit 7-of-16 shots on his way to 22 and added five rebounds, and Okpala finished with 11 points and four rebounds. Austin Freet added 10 and grabbed five boards, and Baehl finished with nine points, seven rebounds, and six assists as Austin College committed just four turnovers all game.
Townsend had a huge game to lead the Banana Slugs, scoring 24 and pulling down 17 boards. Jared Ponce was the only other UCSC player to reach double digits, scoring 10 with five rebounds in the loss.
Austin College heads to San Antonio next weekend for the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament, where they enter as the six-seed and take on third-seeded Schreiner on Friday night at 7:00 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 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.