TYLER, Texas — The Southwestern University Pirates men's basketball team stepped away from conference play, dropping a road game 99-92 in overtime to the University of Texas-Tyler Patriots.
Forwards Jake Holmes and Andrew Puhl each scored 16 points to lead five Southwestern University players in double figures but the Pirates' defense surrendered 60.3 percent shooting from the field, including a sizzling 9-for-17 from deep.
Both teams exchanged runs throughout the first half before UT-Tyler answered a Trenton Garrett three-point play to bring the Pirates within two at 31-29 with a 14-8 run over the final 5:27 before the break to take a 45-37 lead at halftime.
The Pirates and Patriots got strong first-half performances off the bench with Southwestern University's Justin McCormack and UT-Tyler's Jared Jenkins each scoring 10 points in the half. McCormack hit two 3-pointers and another basket to score 10 points in eight minutes and Jenkin's 10 points came on 5-for-7 shooting.
UT-Tyler shot 60.7 percent at the break, including 5-for-6 from the 3-point line. Southwestern shot 46.9 percent, including 4-for-12 (33.3 percent) from deep.
Puhl and Holmes led the Pirates' comeback offensively. Puhl hit his first four shot attempts of the second half, scoring 12 of his 16 points after the break on 5-for-7 shooting and finished the game with five rebounds and an assist.
Holmes started the second half showcasing his playmaking from the front court, finding Puhl and Alexander for a pair of 3-pointers in the first three minutes of the second half. He was also a force down the stretch, scoring nine points over the final 4:30 in regulation, tying the game at 83-83 with 1:39 remaining to send the game into overtime.
The Pirates shot just 3-for-9 from the field in overtime and UT-Tyler's Chris Craig had eight points on 8-for-8 shooting from the free-throw line to carry the Patriots down the stretch.
Southwestern shot 47.1 percent for the game, including 9-for-28 from deep. The Pirates struggled from the free-throw line, shooting 17-for-29 (58.6 percent). UT-Tyler shot 60.3 percent, including 9-for-17 from the 3-point line and finished 20-for-22 from the free-throw line to overcome 17 turnovers.
Darius Alford led UT-Tyler with 21 points and Craig had a 15-point, 10-rebound double-double. Omar Mohamed had a solid all-around game with 12 points, four rebounds, four assists, and three steals.
With the loss, the Pirates drop to 5-6 on the season while the Patriots improve to 5-5. Southwestern will resume conference play with a road game on Saturday, Dec. 29 against Centenary at 6:00 p.m.