GEORGETOWN, Texas – The Southwestern University Pirates men's basketball team avenged its first conference loss of the season, defeating the University of Dallas 93-67 at home with a strong defensive showing.
Brandon Alexander led the Pirates with 21 points and eight rebounds, hitting 8-for-17 from the field, including 3-for-8 from the free-throw as Southwestern finished with four players in double figures, shooting 53.7 percent from the field and hitting 11 3-pointers at a 44 percent clip in a brutally efficient offensive performance.
As strong of a shooting night as it was for Southwestern, its defense was just as potent at times, blending a mix of pressure and various zones to keep Dallas off balance.
Puhl had little impact in his individual scoring column (five points on 2-for-3 shooting) but filled up the secondary stats with four rebounds, three steals, and two assists. More importantly, his play at the top of the Pirates' 1-3-1 zone helped stifle the Dallas backcourt.
Southwestern used the 1-3-1 with aggressive pressure at the top to force Dallas' offense to one side of the court and forcing the Crusaders' big men to make plays on the move in the middle of the floor. It paid off with 16 forced turnovers, jumping passing lanes, digging on dribble penetration, and drawing offensive fouls.
The Crusaders shot just 6-for-22 in the first half, going into halftime with more turnovers (nine) than made field goals (six) as Alexander scored 17 points and Jake Holmes had 11 to give the Pirates a 47-23 lead at the break.
Dallas found some offensive footing in the second half behind the dribble penetration of Jai Love, who scored all nine of his points after the break, hitting 3-for-6 from the field and 3-for-4 from the free-throw line. Michael Wambsganss also broke free in the half for eight points on four shots, finishing the game with 14 points and seven rebounds on 5-for-8 shooting, hitting four 3-pointers.
The Pirates simply had too much depth, getting eight points from Mike May in the second half, stepping out for a spot-up 3-pointer and working inside for two more buckets and a foul. Justin McCormack hit two 3-pointers in the second half, Joel Martinez dished out five assists, and Trenton Garrett scored six points while also applying pressure at the top of the Pirates' zone.
Cameran Hyde joined Wambsganss as the only two Dallas players in double figures, scoring 10 points off the bench on 3-for-6 shooting, hitting 4-for-4 from the free-throw line.
Holmes finished with 15 points for the Pirates, using his combination of strength, first step, and touch to shot 6-for-8 from the field and 3-for-5 from the free-throw line with three rebounds and two assists. Ryan Wheeler had 10 points on 4-for-7 shooting.
With the win, the Pirates improve to 9-8 on the season and 6-2 in conference. Southwestern will host Trinity University on Tuesday, Jan. 22 at 7:30 p.m.