The Austin College men's basketball team shot nearly 50% from the field but Trinity University grabbed 11 offensive rebounds and forced the 'Roos into 14 turnovers on their way to handing the 'Roos a 72-58 loss on Saturday in the team's final regular season game of the year. The 'Roos are now 15-10 overall and 11-15 in Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference play and will be the 2-seed out of the SCAC West in next week's conference tournament.
The teams traded baskets early on before Trinity used an 8-3 run to grab an 18-13 lead with 9:34 left in the first half, and after Austin College cut it to a two point game the Tigers pushed the lead to 23-16 on a three by Robert Kitzinger. The lead grew to nine just before halftime when Jonathan Wilt scored six in a row to make it a 31-22 game, but the 'Roos would chip away and head into the locker room trailing 33-26.
The Trinity lead grew to double digits early in the second half when Zach Lambert hit a three to make it 40-30 with 17:57 left to play, but Walter Phillips would score four points during a 9-0 Austin College run to cut the deficit to 40-39 with 13:54 remaining. However, the Tigers would answer with a run of their own, scoring 18 unanswered over a five minute stretch to make it a 58-39 game and take their largest lead of the game with 8:58 on the clock.
Ransom Okpala and Antoine Thompson scored three points apiece as the 'Roos cut it to a 60-48 game with 4:46 left, and a trey from Okpala made it 67-56 with 1:53 remaining in the game. That's as close as it would get though as the Tigers knocked down 5-of-6 free throws over the game's final 1:25 to clinch the top spot in the SCAC West.
Okpala finished with 13 points to lead the 'Roos while Josh Saunders scored 11 points and grabbed eight rebounds in the loss. Thompson and Phillips finished with 11 and 10 points, respectively.
Kitzinger led all scorers with 19 points, Wilt finished with 15 and Lambert added 11 for the Tigers.
Austin College athletic teams participate as a member of the NCAA Division III and the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference.
About Austin College
Austin College is a leading national independent liberal arts college located north of Dallas in Sherman, Texas. Founded in 1849, making it the oldest institution of higher education in Texas operating under original charter and name, the college is related by covenant to the Presbyterian Church (USA). Recognized nationally for academic excellence in the areas of international education, pre-professional training, and leadership studies, Austin College is one of 40 schools profiled in Loren Pope's influential book Colleges that Change Lives.