SHERMAN, Texas – The Austin College men's basketball team put together a big second half rally after trailing by 14 at the break, but came up just short against conference-leading Texas Lutheran on Saturday night in a 68-64 loss. The 'Roos are now 13-10 overall and 3-10 in SCAC play.
The 'Roos struggled to get things going offensively early on, shooting just 19% from the field in the first half and falling behind 8-2 in the game's opening minutes. An Alan Sullivan three brought the 'Roos to within one at 10-9 with 13:20 left in the opening half, but TLU responded with a 10-3 run to push the margin to 20-12 with 8:55 on the clock.
Austin College trimmed the deficit to 22-17 before the Bulldogs used a 14-0 run to open up their biggest lead of the game at 36-17 with 3:40 remaining before halftime. The 'Roos would get the final five points of the half, however, with Josh Dickerman's jumper making it a 36-22 game at the break.
Sullivan hit a pair of threes and Patrick Johnson added another as the 'Roos began to chip away at the margin, but Texas Lutheran managed to get the lead back up to 49-34 with 13:04 left to play. Dickerman knocked down a trey and Cedric Hudson got three quick points, followed by a layup by Sullivan and a tip-in from JP Feider as Austin College fought back to make it a 51-44 game midway through the half.
Austin College got the deficit all the way back down to two on a Sullivan trey to make it 54-52 with 6:50 on the clock, and the junior forward answered each time TLU started to pull away, knocking down two more threes to keep things tight at 64-60 with less than three minutes to play. Two free throws from Sullivan and a tough basket inside from Hudson got the lead down to one at 65-64, but after two free throws from TLU, Austin College's potential game-tying three pointer was no-good and the Bulldogs escaped with the four point win.
Sullivan hit 6-of-12 threes on his way to 29 points, adding nine rebounds in the loss. Dickerman finished with nine points off the bench for the 'Roos, who are still fighting for the final spot in the SCAC tournament with one conference game against the University of Dallas left.
Harris Jowell led Texas Lutheran, which clinched the top-seed in the SCAC tournament with the win, with 15 points and nine rebounds and Sterling Holmes added 14 points and seven boards.
Austin College hosts Dallas next Saturday at 2:00 p.m. before closing out the regular season next Sunday against Rust College.
Austin College athletic teams participate as a member of the NCAA Division III and the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference.