SHERMAN, Texas – The Austin College men's basketball team took a little while to shake off the holiday rust, but after falling in a 14-2 hole to open the game the 'Roos came roaring back to earn a 74-66 victory over Illinois College on Monday afternoon in Hughey Gym. Austin College improves to 4-5 overall with the victory.
It took nearly seven minutes for Austin College to get on the scoreboard at the start of the game, as each team struggled to find much rhythm offensively early on. Illinois College jumped out to an early 8-0 lead before the first 'Roo basket came on a layup by Harry Hampden-Smith, and the Blueboys grabbed a 14-2 edge with 12:16 left in the opening half.
Eghosa Igbinosa scored nine points during a 19-7 run, and a three pointer from Andres Rivera squared things up at 21 with 5:57 to play in the opening half. The Blueboys pushed the lead back to 25-21, but another bucket from Igbinosa helped pull Austin College even at 26-26 at the half.
Illinois College scored the first four points to open the second half, and maintained a slim lead until the 17:16 mark when an Alan Sullivan basket tied things up at 34 apiece, and a three pointer from Aaron Anwary gave Austin College its first lead of the game at 37-34 with 16:15 left to play. However, Illinois College would use a 10-2 run to grab a five point lead with 13:01 remaining in the game.
A Jacob Taylor three pointer pushed the Illinois College lead to 49-43 with 8:37 left but Igbinosa made two free throws, Sullivan drilled a three, Jeremy Swisher hit a jumper, and Josh Dickerman knocked down a triple to give Austin College a 53-51 lead with 6:35 remaining. The teams traded three pointers to keep things tight, but Brian Baehl and Sullivan each knocked down a trey to push the Austin College lead to 69-62 and Swisher would score the final five points for the 'Roos in the win.
Sullivan buried 4-of-7 three pointers on his way to 15 points and added six boards, while Igbinosa had a career game with 13 points and 10 boards. Baehl finished with 12 points, nine rebounds, and six assists, and Swisher added 11 points and seven rebounds in the victory.
Brandon Fishburn led all scorers with 16 points, hitting 4-of-6 three pointers for the Blueboys. Tim Schappaugh added 14 points, four boards, and three assists in the loss.
Austin College is back in action tomorrow when the 'Roos host Nebraska Wesleyan at 2:00 p.m. in Hughey Gym in the team's final game of 2014.
Austin College athletic teams participate as a member of the NCAA Division III and the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference.