After trailing by just five at halftime, the Austin College men's basketball team fell 93-71 to visiting Texas Lutheran on Sunday after the Bulldogs shot 62% in the second half to pull away from the 'Roos. Ransom Okpala scored 21 points and became just the 18th 'Roo men's basketball player to reach 1,000 career points in the loss, which dropped Austin College to 5-10 overall and 1-5 in Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference play.
Okpala scored four quick points as the 'Roos jumped out to a 7-0 lead, but the Bulldogs fought back to pull within 12-10 with 13:21 left in the opening half. Jimmy King scored five quick points to help Austin College to up 19-10 but a 14-3 run by Texas Lutheran gave the Bulldogs their first lead of the game at 24-22 with 6:23 remaining.
The Bulldogs pulled ahead 33-29 on a basket by Donte McGee with 3:40 left, but Austin College scored the next seven points to regain the lead 34-33. However, the lead would be short-lived as the Bulldogs closed the half on a 9-3 run to head into the locker room with a 42-37 advantage.
The lead grew to 11 early in the second half as Texas Lutheran opened the half with an 8-2 run to make it 50-39, and after the 'Roos trimmed the margin to 51-44 with 16:57 left, the Bulldogs scored 13 unanswered to make it a 64-44 game with 13:29 left in the game. After a Robert Watson dunk made it 75-50, the 'Roos tried to battle back and an Okpala three cut it to 79-62 with 4:57 remaining. That's as close as the 'Roos would get though, as Jordan Kouremetis knocked down a dagger three pointer with 2:38 to push it to an 87-65 game and end any hopes of an Austin College comeback.
Okpala hit 8-of-12 shots overall and 3-of-5 threes on his way to 21 points, and added six rebounds in the loss. Jeremy Swisher scored 10 points, and Austin Freet scored seven points and grabbed 10 rebounds for the 'Roos.
The Bulldogs got 27 points from Kouremetis, who hit 6-of-9 threes, and Watson had 23 points, eight rebounds, and five assists for TLU.
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 residential 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.