GEORGETOWN, Texas – In Southwestern University men's basketball's season opener, the numbers were on the Pirates' side in a 76-61 victory over the University of Texas-Dallas (UT-Dallas) Comets.
Brandon Alexander led three Pirates in double figures, scoring 16 points on 6-for-11 shooting, including a sizzling 4-for-9 from deep. Joel Martinez came off the bench to score 13, hitting three 3-pointers, and Ryan Wheeler had 11 points, making a living from the free-throw line, where he went 6-for-7.
In a clash of styles, the Pirates' swarming defense and let-it-fly offense won out over the Comets' interior strength.
Hanz Burwitz was a force inside for UT-Dallas, posting a 25-point, 13-rebound double-double on 10-for-16 shooting. The Comets' big man was relentless early, attacking the glass for four first-half offensive rebounds to help UT-Dallas to a 24-11 rebounding advantage before the break.
The Comets pounded the Pirates, outscoring Southwestern University 40-18 in the paint.
Basketball has long since evolved past the days of fighting in the trenches, however. Three is more than two and over the course of 40 minutes, the Pirates were able to compile 14 made 3-pointers on a scorching 46.7 percent while UT-Dallas went 0-for-12.
Defensively, the Pirates pressured the Comets the length of the court. And though both teams finished with 17 turnovers, the means were not equal.
Each possession up the court extracted a toll on UT-Dallas. Crisp passes early eventually gave way to rushed possessions for the Comets, taking them out of their preferred sets and playing into the Pirates' hands.
Dimitrius Underwood, who nearly had a triple-double for the Comets in their season opener, got into foul trouble and the Pirates' bench outscored their counterparts 32-10.
By the second half, the Comets' haymakers no longer packed a punch. Jake Holmes started the half as a man possessed, grabbing five of his six rebounds and throwing his body into the fray to shake free several other loose balls to help the Pirates outrebound the Comets 24-17 after the break.
With a win in the season opener, the Pirates will travel down I-35 tomorrow to play St. Edward's University in an exhibition game before hitting the road to play Hardin-Simmons University on Thursday, Nov. 15 at 7:30 p.m. Southwestern University will return home on Saturday, Nov. 17 to host Howard Payne University at 4:00 p.m.