SHERMAN, Texas –The Austin College men's basketball team closed out the home portion of its schedule with a big win on Saturday night, topping Colorado College 74-68 in Hughey Gym. The 'Roos are now 8-15 overall and 4-10 in Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference play.
Devin Roland scored 20 points and Kam Hogan came off the bench to chip in 14 as four 'Roos notched double figures in the scoring column. Austin College was able to hold off a late charge by the Tigers to earn a much needed victory as the 'Roos fight for a spot in the SCAC Tournament.
The 'Roos fell behind 9-4 early but back-to-back threes from Devin Roland and Quinten Tabor put Austin College ahead 10-9. The teams would trade baskets over the next few minutes, with Justice Mercadel scoring to put Austin College ahead 17-16 with 11:57 left before halftime. However, Colorado College would go on an 8-0 run to take a 24-17 lead three and a half minutes later, and the Tigers held a 28-21 lead with 4:39 on the clock. Austin College used an 8-0 run of its own to go ahead 29-28, and after a bucket for the Tigers, Derek Lockman buried a three at the buzzer to send the 'Roos into halftime leading 32-30.
The momentum from the late first half run carried over after halftime, as Austin College scored the first six points to make it a 38-30 game. Lockman's triple pushed the advantage to double-digits at 43-32 with 15:37 left to play, and a bucket by Kam Hogan gave the 'Roos their largest lead of the game at 51-37 with 12:28 left to play.
However, the Tigers would battle back cut it to 56-51 with 5:54 left, but Hogan knocked down a three to push it back to an eight-point game on the ensuing offensive trip for the 'Roos. Hogan followed that up with another three to make it 62-52, and after a triple for the Tigers, Mercadel knocked down a three of his own to make it a 65-56 game with 4:15 to play.
Colorado College pulled to within five at 66-61, but once again Hogan answered with a triple to make it 69-61 with just under three minutes to play. The Tigers would close to within three points at 71-68 with 34 seconds left, but Mercadel knocked down three free throws in the closing moments to seal the victory.
Austin College shot 52.8% from the field in the game and knocked down 9-of-21 from long distance, in addition to houding the Tigers into 24 turnovers. Roland added six boards, two steals, and two blocked shots to his 20-point effort, and Hogan was 3-of-3 from deep and scored all 14 of his points after halftime. Mercadel and Luke Brumbaugh each chipped in 12 points in the win, with Mercadel also dishing out six assists and coming away with four steals.
Austin College heads out on the road to close out the regular season, taking on Texas Lutheran on Friday and Southwestern on Saturday.