COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Sophomore Ryan Wheeler matched a career-high with 24 points and four steals as the Southwestern University men's basketball team used a strong first half to earn a key SCAC road win over the Colorado College Tigers at Reid Arena, 68-54.
Southwestern shot 24 of 54 (44%) from the field including 10 of 24 (42%) from downtown. On the other end, the Pirates put together a strong defensive effort, holding the Tigers to 18 of 50 (36%) shooting and 4 of 19 (21%) from behind the arc.
Colorado College won the rebounding battle 36-34, but Southwestern forced 18 Tiger turnovers and got 21 points from the bench.
The Tigers held their only lead of the game at 2-0 in the opening minute as Southwestern went on a 17-4 run throughout the next seven minutes to open up a 17-6 lead. Southwestern maintained the lead throughout the half thanks to an incredible defensive effort, holding Colorado College to 29% from the field and nine points from Wheeler for a 34-21 lead at the break.
Southwestern opened the second half on a 9-0 run and held their biggest lead of the game at 43-21. Colorado College got as close as 12 in the second half, but Southwestern never let the Tigers get any closer than that, pulling away to earn a huge road win in a tough location, 68-54.
Wheeler scored 24 on 8 of 13 shooting including four 3-pointers, three rebounds, two assists, and four steals. Sophomore Brandon Alexander poured in 11 points including three 3-pointers and six rebounds while sophomore Joel Martinez scored 11 off the bench.
Colorado College was led by Chris Martin with 13 points off the bench including eight rebounds and three blocks.
Southwestern is now 3-0 on the road in SCAC play and moved to 3-2 overall in the conference. The Pirates are also 7-9 overall. They will fly back to Texas tomorrow afternoon and prepare for a Saturday afternoon contest against the University of Dallas in Irving at 12 PM.
Match career-high in points ✅— Southwestern Pirates (@SUPirates) January 20, 2018
Match career-high in steals ✅
Earn huge #SCACmbb road win ✅
Here's what Ryan Wheeler had to say after the huge @SUPiratesMBB win over Colorado College #HereWeGoBucs pic.twitter.com/FWKaBxKbb7