Hot Shooting 'Roo Men Top Southwestern; Women Fall to Pirates

The Austin College men’s basketball team knocked down 17 three pointers, including 8-of-10 in the second half to hold off visiting Southwestern University for a 97-94 victory on Friday night. The ‘Roos got a career-best 23 points from Alan Sullivan as they improved to 7-12 overall and 3-7 in Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference play with the win.

The ‘Roos got out to a fast start offensively with Sullivan, Jeremy Swisher, Austin Freet, and Ransom Okpala all knocking down triples to surge ahead 15-5 with 16:13 left in the first half. Jordan Hancock, Kevin Graham, and Brian Baehl each added a trey as the ‘Roos pushed the lead to 30-18 midway through the opening half. The ‘Roos knocked down nine three pointers before halftime.

Sullivan hit another long ball and Josh Dickerman drilled a three of his own as Austin College pushed the lead to as much as 17 in the first half before the Pirates began to chip away and cut it to single digits following a Travis Kurtz three and a basket by Blake Scott to make it 47-38 with 16 seconds left. An Alvin Michael free throw sent the ‘Roos into the break leading 48-38.

Southwestern quickly cut the margin to seven less than two minutes into the second half, but Freet and Sullivan each hit another three to push the score back to 64-49 with 14:17 left. The lead grew to 16 on a jumper by Dickerman before Southwestern scored six in a row to make it 71-61 with 10:44 left in the game.

After a Swisher three to make it 76-65, Southwestern scored five quick points to cut it to a six point game before Sullivan drilled two more threes to push it back to a double digit margin at 87-76 with 4:28 left. The ‘Roos led by as much as 12 after an Okpala three made it 93-81 with 2:52 remaining before the Pirates rallied back to cut it to 96-94 on a three by Kurtz with seven seconds left, but a Graham free throw with four seconds remaining iced the game for the ‘Roos.

Sullivan hit 7-of-11 shots overall and 5-of-6 from long range on his way to 23 points, leading five ‘Roos in double figures. Freet added 13 points and six boards, Swisher had 13, Baehl had 12 points, six rebounds, and six assists, and Okpala had 11 points and four assists in the victory as the ‘Roos hit 17-of-29 threes.

Scott scored 23 on 8-of-9 shooting to lead the Pirates and Chase Kocher added 16, while Kurtz finished with 15, Michael Cantu added 13, and Sean Myers scored 10.

The ‘Roos will be looking to make it two in a row tomorrow when they host conference leading Trinity at 4:00 p.m. in Hughey Gym.

’Roo Women Fall to Southwestern 78-56

SHERMAN, Texas – The Austin College women’s basketball team struggled to get anything going offensively in a 78-56 loss to visiting Southwestern University on Friday, shooting just 28.6% from the field as a team. The ‘Roos fall to 10-10 overall and 5-5 in Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference play with the loss.

The ‘Roos got out to a hot start with Erin Riley knocking down a pair of threes to open the game, but after taking a 14-9 lead on a Paige Picciotti basket with 12:22 left in the first half the ‘Roos went scoreless for nearly eight minutes. The Pirates were able to score 16 unanswered to take a 25-14 lead before Christina Kime broke the slump with a bucket to make it 25-16 with 4:35 remaining before the break.

Jenna Longo’s three cut it to a six point game moments later and a trey from Kime cut it to a 27-23 game with 2:51 on the clock, but the Pirates would close the half on an 8-0 run to head into the locker room leading 35-23.

Jordan Owens scored eight straight for the Pirates to open the second half as Southwestern took a 43-28 lead with 17:06 left to play, and the lead grew to 18 before a Riley three cut it to a 48-35 game with 14:47 remaining. However, the Pirates answered with a 10-0 run to push it to a 23 point margin. Brooke Melton scored six in a row to help Austin College trim it to a 14 point game at 62-48 with 6:34 to play.

That would be as close as the ‘Roos would get though, as Southwestern would score the next seven to push the lead back to 69-48 and the margin grew back to as much as 22 at 75-53 with 2:14 on the clock. Madi Aliff and Olivia Bailey knocked down free throws for the ‘Roos but a three from Brianna Turney with 24 seconds left made it a 78-56 final.

Riley was the lone ‘Roo in double figures, hitting 4-of-7 shots overall and 4-of-6 from three to finish with 14 points and six rebounds. Brooke Melton scored nine points and handed out four assists, and Brittany Stepanski scored eight points and grabbed six rebounds in the loss.

Owens led three Pirates in double figures with 14 points and Cara Sheffer and Chelsea Leeder each scored 11. Annie Bourne added nine points and a game-high 13 rebounds.

The ‘Roos will be looking to bounce back tomorrow when they take on Trinity University at 6:00 p.m.

Austin College athletic teams participate as a member of the NCAA Division III and the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference.

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