SHERMAN, Texas — The Southwestern men's basketball team put together its best offensive performance since November, assisting on 17 of its 24 made baskets in an 81-70 victory over the Austin College Kangaroos. 

Southwestern opened sluggishly, starting 1-for-5 from the field with a turnover over the first five minutes, falling behind 7-3 before the Pirates turned to an entirely different lineup. 

The starters returned to a 14-8 deficit a few minutes later and went to work with back-to-back Preston Hannah layups, then closing the gap to within 20-18 a few minutes after a pair of Zac Black free throws with 8:43 remaining in the first half. 

Both teams traded empty possessions sprinkled with a few made baskets before freshman center Brock Luechtefeld sparked the Pirates with a block on one end, followed by a layup off a Josh Jones feed to pull the Pirates to within 26-25 with 5:23 left in the half. 

Southwestern went on a tear, outscoring Austin College 15-7 the rest of the way to take a 40-33 lead at the break. 

Hannah and Luechtefeld led Southwestern with 10 points each in the first half, combining to shoot 7-for-11 from the field. The Pirates also got a steady performance from Hudson Boyd off the bench as Southwestern's reserves outscored their counterparts 19-7 in the half. 

The Pirates limited Austin College to 12-for-31 shooting (38.7 percent) with Jaylyn Cleamons reaching double figures with 10 points on 3-for-8 shooting. 

Southwestern locked in even more defensively in the second half, holding Austin College to 30.3 percent shooting while senior Chris Smith, Jr. caught fire on the other end. Smith scored 13 of his 18 points after the break, hitting 4-for-6 from the field, including 3-for-4 from deep to match his career-high. Smith also collected 10 rebounds for his first double-double at Southwestern. 

Hannah finished with 14 points on 5-for-9 shooting and four assists. In addition, Luechtefeld also had 14 points on six shots with eight rebounds and two blocks off the bench for Southwestern. 

Chase Antsoca led three Austin College players in double figures, scoring 18 off the bench. Cleamons finished with 16 points, and Chanston Goodman added 10. 

After the win, Southwestern improves to 7-11 with a 4-5 conference record. The Pirates will return home and host the University of Dallas on Tuesday, Feb. 1, at 5:30 p.m.