GEORGETOWN, Texas - Southwestern men's basketball took control in the final three minutes of the game and never looked back to defeat the University of Dallas 72-62 on Friday night.
Daniel Mataya was feeling it offensively, scoring the first eight points for the Pirates as SU took an 8-4 lead in the first five minutes. Dallas' in your face defense could have become their demise as the Pirates entered the bonus with nine minutes remaining, but SU wasn't able to take advantage. The Pirates pulled within two points numerous times in the first half but were never able to close the gap further as they trailed 30-26 at the break.
The Crusaders remained ahead as the second half got underway, but the Pirates hung close and finally tied the game for the first time since the opening tip on a pair of free throws by Blake Scott with 14 minutes to play.
It wasn't until under three and a half minutes to play, however, that Southwestern finally took the lead. Chase Kocher's free throws with 3:15 remaining gave SU the lead for the first time in the second half, 57-56. Kocher followed with a steal on the defensive end, was fouled on a made layup and converted on the free throw to put SU up by four, 60-56.
Southwestern never looked back as they continued to extend their lead until the 72-62 final. SU shot 46.7% from the floor and 35.7% from three point range while holding UD to 37.8% from the field and 15.4% from long range. SU was outrebounded in the win 38-27 but committed eight fewer turnovers.
Kocher led the Pirates with 20 points and eight rebounds while Mataya added 11 points and Michael Cantu 10. UD's Tanner Bruffey led all scorers with 22 points.
Southwestern improves to 10-14 on the year and 6-8 in the SCAC with the win while UD falls to 13-10 and 9-5. The Pirates close out the regular season on Sunday as they take on Colorado College for senior day at 2 p.m.