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Hot Shooting 'Roos Hold Off Southwestern

Hot Shooting 'Roos Hold Off Southwestern

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.

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.