GEORGETOWN, Texas –Southwestern got over half their points from their two big men in a 60-58 win over Austin College on Friday night.
Austin College's quick fire offense controlled the first half despite the Pirates' defense efforts, building a five point lead 26-19 through the first 15 minutes.
A well-placed timeout by Head Coach Bill Raleigh allowed SU a chance to regroup and Adrian Johnson sparked a run with a three from the corner that allowed the Pirates to close the gap to two points. AC ended the half on a high note, however, sending Southwestern into the locker room down six, 30-24.
Southwestern came out of halftime with a refreshed mind and held AC scoreless in the first five minutes while hitting shots on the offensive end, regaining the lead 31-30 on a three from Chase Kocher in the corner.
The Pirates were able to keep the lead despite some hot shooting by the 'Roos until a three-point play by Brian Baehl and a pair of free throws from Austin Brewster put Austin College back on top, 52-51, with three and a half to play. Blake Scott's put back gave SU the lead back on the next possession and gave the Pirates a chance to extend their lead by drawing his second charge of the game.
Adrian Johnson's three point play on an acrobatic layup off Scott's block on the defensive end extended the lead. AC hung close and got the break they needed to tie the game as Ransom Okpala was fouled on a drive and drained both free throws.
Cantu took the load of the game on his shoulders and confidently drove down the lane and easily put home the layup to put SU up 60-58 with 22 seconds left on the clock. Cantu nearly sealed the game with a steal at the top of the key, but the ball nicked his foot, giving the 'Roos another chance.
Southwestern was close to a five second call on the inbound, but Austin College's Head Coach Rodney Wecker kept the dream live with a timeout just before the whistle.
Following the timeout, Okpala took the inbounds pass with three seconds left but had nowhere to go as the Pirates had him surrounded. His last second shot from the top of the key was just off the mark as SU took the 60-58 win.
Scott led all scorers with 22 points on 8-11 shooting from the field and 6-6 from the free throw line. He was also the leading rebounder for the Pirates with six boards. Sean Myers added in 10 points and four rebounds.
Southwestern won the rebounding battle 34-27 and forced 16 AC turnovers, recording seven steals and two blocks in a strong defensive effort.
The Pirates improve to 5-9 on the year and 2-2 in the SCAC and jump into fourth place in the conference while AC falls to 4-8 on the year and 0-3 in conference action. SU faces Centenary on Saturday night at home. Game time is set for 4 p.m.