LATE GAME HEROICS LIFT PIRATES PAST TIGERS
GEORGETOWN, Texas – A pair of three pointers by Nick Caputo and Jonathan Brown along with two free throws from Michael Cantu in the final 1:30 of the game pushed the Pirates past Trinity in Southwestern's conference opener on Friday night. SU won 53-52 to improve to 2-4 on the year and start out 1-0 in conference play. Trinity is still searching for their first win of the season as they fall to 0-6 and 0-1.
The Tigers shot out of the gate and held the Pirates scoreless through the first four and a half minutes. Trinity eventually pulled ahead by nine 11-2 with 14:42 to go in the first half, forcing a Southwestern time out.
Following the timeout SU tightened things up defensively and steadily chipped away at the lead, pulling within five with a minute to play. Logan Hurley hit a jumper to pull within three with 2:07 on the clock and after a Trinity turnover on the inbounds pass Southwestern took advantage and tied the game for the first time since the opening tip on a three pointer by senior Nick Caputo. Despite the slow start the Pirates went into halftime tied 27-27.
Trinity scored first in the second half but took a brief lead, 31-30, with just under 18 minutes to play. The Tigers lead by as many as eight with 11:24 to play but the Pirates wouldn't be denied as they continued to fight to stay within striking distance.
Southwestern continued to get the stops they needed on the defensive end but were unable to score to pull any closer than three points until Hurley's jumper with just over five minutes to play broke the scoring drought.
Trinity continued to stay just out of reach of the Pirates until Caputo's jumper from the right elbow tied the game at 45 a piece with 4:12 remaining. The Tigers were able to pull ahead once again from the free throw line, building a five point lead 50-45 with 1:35 to play in the contest.
After the Southwestern timeout Jonathan Brown hit a crucial three pointer to bring the Pirates within two points. Trinity's Luke Caldarera pushed it back to a four point Tiger advantage on a layup but SU came right back as Michael Cantu slashed through the lane and was fouled. He drained his two free throws cutting the lead back to two. After a solid defensive stand that resulted in a missed shot, Brown collected the rebound and called timeout allowing Coach Raleigh to set up the final look.
Southwestern worked the right wing hard and forced the defense to shift just enough to get Caputo an open look at the top of the key with seconds remaining on the clock. With confidence Caputo rose above the defenders closing in and drained the game winner. Zach Lambert's desperation heave at the buzzer fell short giving the Pirates the victory as the stands cleared.
The lead was Southwestern's first since the opening minutes of the second half.
As a team the Pirates shot 43.5% from the floor, just 28.6% from the three point line, and 77.8% from the charity stripe while holding Trinity to 37.3% for the game, 30% from long range and 50% from the free throw line.
Caputo ended with 15 points to lead SU while Hurley chipped in 13. Hurley and Nicholas Atiee led the team with five rebounds each while Robbie Hanley had a team high four assists. TU's Lambert led all scorers with 21 points.
Southwestern remains at home for their next contest as they look to exact revenge on the University of Dallas who defeated the Pirates on a last second shot earlier in the season. Game time is slated for 4:00 pm on Sunday.