GEORGETOWN, Texas - Southwestern led until just under seven minutes remaining in the game and weren't able to regain the lead as they fell 57-52 to Austin College on Saturday night.
By forcing Austin College into tough shots and being extremely patient offensively, Southwestern was able to take an early 15-6 lead with 11 minutes to play in the first half.
SU kept their game plan in motion and retained the lead into halftime, taking a seven point lead, 32-25, into the break. The Pirates shot well in the half, going 45.8% from the floor, 50% from three point range and a perfect 6-6 from the free throw line. Michael Cantu led the balanced attack with nine points.
It was smooth going through the early parts of the second half and Southwestern retained a slight advantage. Rebounds became huge as the 'Roos crashed the offensive boards and got second chance baskets and free throws to take the lead 45-43 with 5:36 remaining in the game.
After trading baskets, a crucial offensive foul call gave SU the ball back with a chance to regain the lead late, but a Pirate turnover allowed a bucket in transition by Ramsom Okpala and kept AC in the lead.
Chase Kocher aggressively attacked the basket the next two times down the floor but made just one of two on both trips to bring SU within three, 52-49.
After a pair of free throws by AC, Michael Cantu calmly brought the ball down the floor and drove a few dribbles before passing back to Travis Kurtz. Kurtz drained a deep three to keep life in the Pirates, bringing them within two, 54-52 with 14 seconds remaining.
Andre Bryant, however, coolly stepped to the line twice and nailed three of four free throws to put the game out of reach for the Pirates.
Southwestern ended the game shooting 38.3% from the field and 33.3% from three point range while AC went 35.4% from the floor and 23.1% from three point. Once again, the free throw differential was huge as SU went 10-12 while AC scored 20 points on 26 attempts.
Cantu led the Pirates with 12 points and Kurtz added 10 more with a team high seven rebounds. Alen Michael led all scorers with 21 points.
Southwestern drops to 8-13 overall and 4-6 in the SCAC while AC improves to 6-16 and 3-9. The Pirates return to action on Wednesday as they travel to San Antonio to face Trinity at 7 p.m.