RICHARDSON, Texas – Southwestern dropped their season opener 72-59 despite shooting nearly 50% from the floor.
Back-to-back threes by Dmitriy Chernikov gave UTD the lead 13-10 and sparked a 28-10 Comet run that lasted over 12 minutes. Southwestern headed into the break down 12, 26-22, after not scoring the final 2:12 of the frame.
It took seven minutes for the Pirates to get their first field goal of the second half, but tough defense kept them in the hunt as they trailed by 16, 45-29.
With just under seven minutes to play the Pirates made a run for the lead. Kicked off by Sean Myers' layup with 6:54 on the clock, Southwestern pulled within seven points on Kocher's layup while being fouled. He converted on the free throw to bring SU to 62-53 with 2:24 to play.
That is as close as the Pirates would get, however, as UTD converted on their free throws down the stretch to close out the game.
Southwestern shot 48.8% from the floor but just 14.3% from long range while the Comets went 49% from the field and 33.3% from three point distance. SU lost the rebounding battle 35-23 but committed one fewer turnover.
Kocher led the Pirates with 16 points while Myers added in 10 as did Jake Schifani off the bench.
SU opens the season 0-1 and remain on the road to face Hardin-Simmons University on Monday at 7pm.