SHERMAN, Texas - The Austin College men's basketball team sprinted out to a 12-1 lead early and never looked back, coasting past Howard Payne 98-59 in the season opener for both teams on Friday night in Hughey Gym.
Michael Holland scored 17 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead five 'Roos in double figures, and 13 different players put points on the board for Austin College as the team shot 49.4% from the field. After taking their early 11 point lead, HPU scored seven straight to cut it to a 12-8 game but the 'Roos used a 15-0 run to make it 27-8 with 7:03 left in the opening half.
A pair of free throws by Tristan Dick gave the 'Roos a 20 point cushion at 34-14 with 4:19 left before halftime, and buckets from Roman Strickland and Holland extended the lead to 47-23 before Howard Payne got the final basket of the half to make it 47-25.
Howard Payne opened the second half with a quick 6-2 run to make it 49-31, but the 'Roos answered with six straight to make it 55-31 with 17:47 left to play. A layup from Jake Patin gave Austin College a 64-33 lead four minutes later, and the 'Roos would go on cruise control the rest of the way with a Kameron Hill capping things off and making it 92-56 with just under two minutes left.
Holland made 7-of-14 shots, including 2-of-3 from beyond the arc to get his game-high 17 points, and Luke Brumbaugh added 16 points and seven rebounds. Devin Roland chipped in 12 points, and Justice Mercadel had 11 points, five assists, five rebounds, four steals, and two blocks. Patin rounded out the double-figure scorers with 10, and Strickland grabbed 10 rebounds.
Tyrell Thompson led Howard Payne with 14 points and eight rebounds, and Jase Miguez added 11 for the Yellow Jackets.