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'Roo Men Come Up Short in Comeback Bid

'Roo Men Come Up Short in Comeback Bid

SHERMAN, Texas – The Austin College men's basketball team battled back from a 21-point lead but came up short against Texas Lutheran, falling 79-69 on Sunday afternoon in Hughey Gym. The 'Roos are now 2-12 overall and 0-3 in Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference play.

Michael Holland scored 26 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, and Kam Hogan scored all 15 of his points during Austin College's comeback bid, but key three pointers from Nathan Josephs, Matt Perry, and Jacob Kouremetis kept the 'Roos at bay down the stretch. The 'Roos twice got the margin down to seven points in the final minute, but were unable to close the gap.

After a strong start by Austin College put the 'Roos ahead 7-5 early, TLU pushed ahead to take a 14-9 lead with 14:52 left in the opening half. A Kameron Hill three pulled Austin College even at 20 with 11:29 on the clock, and Texas Lutheran would take a 26-24 lead with 5:57 remaining. However, that's when the Bulldogs would go on a 17-4 run to close out the first half and head into the break leading 43-28.

Kouremetis knocked down a trey to open the second half and keep the momentum firmly in Texas Lutheran's favor, and a jumper by Alex Cage gave TLU its largest lead of the game at 54-33 with 16:07 left in the game. The Bulldogs led 56-36 with 14:55 to go, and that's when Austin College began to chip away at the margin. A quick 12-2 run by the 'Roos got the lead down to 58-48 with 11:53 to play after a basket by Hogan.

Texas Lutheran was able to get the lead back to 15 at 68-53 with 5:42 left, but six in a row by Austin College cut it to a nine-point game with just over four minutes on the clock. Kouremetis would hit another three to once again give the Bulldogs a double-digit cushion, but Austin College fought back and Hogan's basket with 54 seconds to play made it 72-65.

However, that's as close as things would get as Cage and Josephs combined to knock down 7-of-8 free throws in the final seconds to seal the win for the Bulldogs.

Holland hit 11-of-16 shots, including 3-of-5 from deep to get his 26 points, and Hogan added four rebounds, two assists, and two steals to his 15-point performance. Justice Mercadel chipped in with 12 points and nine rebounds for Austin College in the loss. 

Cage led the Bulldogs with 20 points, and Josephs added 18 and seven assists. Kouremetis finished with 12 points on 4-of-8 shooting from beyond the arc, and Matthew Gillette had 11 boards to lead TLU.

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