DENVER, Colo. - The Austin College men's basketball team snapped its seven game skid with a convincing 96-77 victory at Johnson & Wales on Saturday, bringing the team's overall record to 4-7 and Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference mark to 1-3.
Justice Mercadel poured in 28 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, and Devin Roland added 27 points in the victory as the 'Roos shot 50.7% from the field as a team and 42.1% from long distance. Austin College also enjoyed a 46-to-37 rebounding advantage and knocked down 20-of-23 free throws in the win. Roland scored 13 of team's first 16 points as the 'Roos jumped out to a comfortable lead early, as Austin College took a 34-17 lead with just under eight minutes left before halftime. The 'Roos would continue to build their first half lead and head into the break ahead 49-31.
The Wildcats cut it to a 12-point game early in the second half but that's as close as things would get, with Austin College pushing the lead past 20 and holding a double-digit advantage throughout the rest of the game. The 'Roos limited JWU to 41.3% shooting, and the Wildcats made just 16-of-31 free throw attempts and Austin College owned a 44-to-28 advantage in points in the paint during the game.
Mercadel hit 8-of-12 field goals, including 2-of-4 threes, and made 10-of-11 free throws to get his 28 points and Roland was equally efficient with a 10-of-14 shooting performance and 4-of-5 triples. Michael Holland was the only other 'Roo to notch double figures, scoring 14 points while grabbing six rebounds and handing out five assists. Mercadel added four assists, two steals, and two blocks to his stat totals.
Austin College is back home next weekend when they host Schreiner on Friday and Trinity on Saturday in Hughey Gym.