SHERMAN, Texas - Southwestern's defense was outstanding in the second half as the Pirates defeated Austin College 59-53 on Saturday in SCAC action.
SU forced the 'Roos into tough shots as AC went just 6-22 from the field and 3-10 from three point range in the second half. Coupling that with poor Austin College free throw shooting, Southwestern was able to pull ahead late in the second half for the win.
It was rough going in the beginning of the game as Southwestern struggled to find a rhythm and allowed Austin College to build a slight lead, but with just over five minutes to play SU had pulled within four, 16-20.
AC retained a slight lead and took a seven point advantage into the break, 28-21.
Following halftime, Southwestern jumped at the opportunity to close the gap with a three from Chris Lee just over a minute in. Despite the uplifting start, it wasn't until Travis Kurtz's three with 5:36 to go that SU took the lead for the first time in the game, 45-44. After the lead pinballed back and forth Southwestern took control for the final time with 3:45 remaining on Daniel Mataya's layup and sealed their fate from the free throw line, draining seven of eight down the stretch.
Kurtz led SU with 13 points off the bench while Mataya added in 11. Chase Kocher led all rebounders with nine boards in the win. Austin College's Jimmy King led all scorers with 16 points.
The win improves Southwestern's record to 6-10 on the year and 2-4 in the SCAC while Austin College falls to 3-14 and 0-7. SU remains on the road to face league leading Trinity on Saturday night in San Antonio. Game time is set for 6 p.m.