SHERMAN, Texas - The Austin College men's basketball team improved to 2-0 to open the season thanks to an 82-66 victory over Rhodes College on Sunday afternoon in Hughey Gym. Five players reached double figures in the scoring column to pace the 'Roos in the win.
Austin College used a relentless defensive performance to earn the win, holding the Lynx to 34.6% shooting and forcing 26 turnovers. Rhodes knocked down just 3-of-17 three point attempts in the game.
The 'Roos jumped on top early, going ahead 13-2 in the first four and a half minutes of action. The Lynx started to battle back before Tristan Dick knocked down a three to make it 19-9 with 12:51 left in the opening half. Rhodes started chipping away at the deficit, getting six quick points from Bryce Berry to make it 24-17 with just under nine minutes left before the break. However, back-to-back threes from Justice Mercadel helped put Austin College ahead 34-18 with 6:58 on the clock and the 'Roos would head into the locker room leading 41-26.
Rhodes scored four quick points to cut it to an 11 point game, but Devin Roland knocked down a triple to kickstart a 15-6 run and make the score 56-36 with 13:19 left to play. Austin College would maintain a double digit lead the rest of the way, with Rhodes never getting closer than 13. With the score 75-60 and under two minutes to play, Roman Strickland drilled a three and Kameron Hill added a bucket to once again make it a 20 point game, and one more basket by Strickland would ice the 82-66 win.
Austin College shot 42.9% from the field in the game, knocking down nine threes and handing out 20 assists as a team. The 'Roos also came away with 13 steals, with four players notching two apiece. Strickland and Michael Holland led a balanced scoring attack with 12 points each, while Kam Hogan had 11 and Mercadel and Luke Brumbaugh each had 10. Holland led the 'Roos with nine rebounds and also added a team-high four assists.
Koki Wiley led Rhodes with 11 points, while Berry and Jalen Essick each chipped in 10 for the Lynx.
Austin College heads out on the road Friday to play at the University of Ozarks before returning to Sherman on Sunday for a 2:00 p.m. game against Hendrix.