SHERMAN, Texas – The Austin College men’s basketball team battled back from a 21-point deficit to get within five late, but were unable to overcome Southwestern University in a 94-84 loss on Sunday afternoon in Hughey Gym. The ’Roos fall to 6-12 overall and 2-5 in Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference play.
The teams traded baskets early, with baskets from Patrick Johnson and Justin Wade keeping things close at 12-10 with the Pirates on top just over six minutes in. Southwestern scored seven in a row to go on top 19-10, but Jeremy Swisher knocked down a pair of three pointers as Austin College trimmed the margin to 23-21 with 6:51 left in the opening half.
The Pirates pushed their lead to 30-23, but a free throw from Austin Wells and a dunk by JP Feider made it 30-26 with 4:05 on the clock. Southwestern got six free throws and Ryan Ogden and Luke Hicks each buried a three, and Mike May scored with three seconds left to send the Pirates into the locker room leading 46-31.
Southwestern pushed the lead to 53-34 on a Ben Stiver three early in the second, and May followed with a jumper to give the Pirates their largest lead of the game at 55-34 with 17:35 left to play. Brian Baehl’s three pointer jump-started an 18-5 run that got the ‘Roos within striking distance, trailing 58-52 with 12:32 remaining.
The Southwestern lead grew to 65-54 before a three from Josh Dickerman sparked another small run for Austin College, getting the ‘Roos to within five points on an Austin Freet basket with 8:57 left to make it 66-61. After a pair of free throws by Swisher kept the margin at five points, making it 70-65 with 5:46 left, the Pirates would use a 13-3 run capped off by a basket from Stiver to make it 83-68 with three minutes remaining, putting the game out of reach.
Austin College twice got the margin down to eight points in the final minute of action but were unable to get any closer.
Swisher led five Austin College scorers in double figures with 14 points, while Wells and Dickerman each added 13. Johnson finished with 12 points, four rebounds, and four assists, and Freet added 11 points and seven rebounds in the loss.
Southwestern made 37-of-51 free throws as a team, with Ogden making 11-of-13 free throws - all in the first half - on his way to 23 points and 11 rebounds. Chris Molina added 21 points, while Zach Whitlock and Hicks each had 15 and Stiver finished with 11. The Pirates out-scored the ‘Roos 31-to-17 from the free throw line in the game.
Austin College athletic teams participate as a member of the NCAA Division III and the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference.