GEORGETOWN, Texas – The Pirate men shot 56.2% from three point range and got a career-high from Michael Cantu but were unable to take down Wayland Baptist University, falling 80-65 on Wednesday night.
Southwestern exhibited outstanding defense in the first half, holding the high-flying Pioneers to just 39 points, well below their season average.
The Pirates trailed most of the first half until a huge block from Blake Scott, sandwiched between back to back threes by Eric Garza, tied the game 31-31 with 3:23 left to play in the half. The Pirates went into the break down three, 39-36, after trailing by as many as nine earlier in the half.
SU was lights out from long distance, going 6-12 from beyond the arc. Garza was 3-4 from three point to lead all scorers in the frame with 15 points. Michael Cantu added in 12 including two of three from long range.
Southwestern came out of the second half tight and allowed the Pioneers to extend their lead to 14, 54-40, just four minutes into the frame.
Jake Schifani's three jolted the Pirates back to life as they cut the lead to 10 with just under 14 minutes to play. That is as close as SU could get, however, as WBU's transition offense maintained the comfortable lead to arrive at the 80-65 final.
Cantu tied for the game high with 26 points on 8-12 shooting from the field, 4-5 from three point range and was also the team leader with seven boards. WBU's Markus Monroe matched Cantu's effort with 26 points on 10-19 shooting while Kelly Lawson had a double-double in the win with 12 rebounds and 17 points. Garza ended the night as the only other Pirate in double figures with 15 points.
Southwestern falls to 3-6 on the year with loss while Wayland Baptist improves to 7-1. SU now breaks for the holidays and returns to action on December 29th as they face Baldwin Wallace in San Antonio at 4 p.m.