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Big Second Half Lifts 'Roos Past Hendrix

Big Second Half Lifts 'Roos Past Hendrix

SHERMAN, Texas –The Austin College men's basketball team trailed at halftime but out-scored Hendrix College 58-43 after the break on their way to a 98-89 victory on Saturday night in Hughey Gym. The 'Roos are now 4-4 overall on the year.

Kam Hogan poured in 26 points to lead the way for the 'Roos, while Justice Mercadel added 23 points, seven rebounds, five assists, and two steals. Four players reached double figures for Austin College, as the 'Roos shot 57.4% from the field and 47.1% from long distance as a team. Austin College shot better than 65% from the field in the second half.

Hendrix took a 10-4 lead early, and maintained their six-point cushion at 21-15 midway through the half. However, the 'Roos scored six in a row, with Hogan's free throw squaring things up at 21 apiece at the 8:24 mark. Threes from Derek Lockman and Hogan put Austin College ahead 27-23, but Hendrix fought back and took a 32-31 lead on a three by Seth Stanley with 4:49 on the clock. Five more points from Stanley to close out the half would help the Warriors take a 46-40 lead into the break.

Stanley and Preston Smith each hit a three early in the second half as the Hendrix lead grew to 52-43 with 17:48 left, but Hogan and Mercadel combined for the next nine Austin College points and JP Feider hit one of two free throws to cut it to a 56-53 game with 14:25 to play. Not long after, Hogan converted a four-point play to knot things at 57, and a bucket from Michael Holland and threes from Kameron Hill and Hogan put Austin College ahead 65-61 with 11:35 left.

Austin College started to take full control over the final seven minutes of the game, and Hogan's trey with 6:35 on the clock made it 78-69. The 'Roos got their first double-digit lead of the game a minute and a half later when Holland got into the paint and scored to make it 82-72. The lead would grow to as many as 13 points down the stretch as Austin College held off a late attempt at a rally with some clutch free throw shooting in the final minutes.

Hogan hit 9-of-16 of his attempts overall and 4-of-9 from deep to get his 26 points. That total is one point shy of his career best, set earlier this season also against Hendrix. Mercadel made 6-of-9 shots from the field and 11-of-13 from the free throw line, and Holland finished with 18 points, five rebounds, and four assists. Devin Roland chipped in 15 points and six boards in the win.

Stanley led all scorers with 29 points and also had a game-best 10 rebounds for Hendrix, and Smith added 19. Kam Brasfield had 15 points, seven assists, and four steals for the Warriors. 

Austin College is home again on Tuesday when they open Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference play against Trinity University at 4:00 p.m.