SAN ANTONIO, Texas - Sophomore Brandon Alexander scored 16 points while sophomore Justin McCormack scored a career-high 13 points as the Southwestern Pirates scored 49 points off the bench en route to an 89-76 win over Springfield at the Leslie Robinson Memorial Classic on the campus of Trinity University.
The Pirates shot 29 of 70 (41%) from the field including six 3-pointers. Southwestern got to the free throw line 35 times, converting 25 times (71%). Springfield shot 45% from the field, coverting eight 3-pointers. Southwestern forced 13 turnovers while only giving it away a season-low 11 times. Southwestern outrebounded the Pride 46-35, scoring 44 points in the paint and scoring 22 points off turnovers.
The two teams were even throughout the first eight minutes with the Pirates clinging to an 18-17 lead. Southwestern scored seven straight points to open up an eight point lead. Springfield responded with a 13-4 run to take the lead back at 30-29.
The two teams continued to battle back-and-forth as Springfield was red hot throughout the first half, shooting 59% from the field for a 41-40 lead with two minutes to play. Southwestern closed the half on a 12-2 run thanks including a 3-pointer by McCormack at the buzzer.
In the second half, Springfield cut the deficit down to four in the first eight minutes of the half, but that would be as close as they would get as Southwestern took complete control of the game at 62-58. The Pirates went on a monster 24-2 run to take their biggest lead of the game at 86-60.
During the run, the Southwestern bench exploded as a steal by sophomore Jake Holmes led to a beautiful cross court pass on the fastbreak to sophomore Ryan Wheeler who finished strong and converted teh and-1 to push the lead to 17. Freshman Trenton Garrett capitalized the 24-2 run with a high-flying put-back dunk for the 26-point lead.
Southwestern cleared the bench and closed out the final four minutes. Though Springfield cut the deficit in half, there was never any danger as the Pirates closed the game with the win.
Alexander had a pair of three while McCormack was 5 of 6 shooting including two 3-pointers. Garrett finished with 10 points to go with 12 rebounds and a block while Holmes and sophomore Mike May each scored 10 points. Sophomore Luke Hicks scored seven points to go with eight rebounds, four assists, and a block.
Reigning ECAC Player of the Year Jake Ross scored 24 points with the Pirates holding him to only three points in the second half. Cam Earle added 11 points off the bench.
Southwestern snapped a three game losing streak and moves to 3-5 overall. They will look to take this momentum into tomorrow evening's matchup against East Texas Baptist at 7 PM. The Tigers defeated Trinity in double overtime earlier in the night.