GEORGETOWN, Texas -- A prolonged scoring drought in the second half caused the Southwestern University Pirates to suffer their first conference loss of the season, falling 79-73 to the Trinity University Tigers.
Southwestern started strong, building a 37-24 lead at the break. Calvin Williams sparked the Pirates with 10 minutes off the bench in the first half, recording back-to-back steals for four quick points. Williams was a defensive menace, all long arms and quick feet moving in tandem with his opponent and scoring eight in the first half with three rebounds.
Kyle Howard opened the second half aggressively, driving through the heart of the Trinity defense and scoring eight quick points to put the Pirates ahead 47-35 with 15:51 remaining.
The offense fell apart shortly after that, with Southwestern shooting just 14-for-35 (40 percent) from the field, including 2-for-15 from deep (13.3 percent).
Trinity took advantage, moving the ball expertly to assist on 14 of its 22 made field goals after the break, shooting 61.1 percent from the field, including 5-for-11 from the 3-point line. Jack Williams scored all 13 of his points in the second half, settling into his spots at the elbows for assisted midrange jumpers.
Jordan Lippman also helped carry the Tigers with 10 of his 14 points after the break, hitting a variety of pull-up jumpers while also grabbing nine rebounds, four steals, and dishing out three assists for the game.
Ben Handley made a 3-pointer with 3:36 remaining to give the Tigers their first lead at 70-69. Kyle Howard answered immediately to regain the lead but the Pirates scored only one more field goal over the final three minutes.
Brandon Alexander led the Pirates with 23 points on 8-for-17 shooting and 10 rebounds. Howard had 13 points and three assists and Andrew Puhl was the only other Pirate in double figures with 10 points and eight rebounds.
With the loss, the Pirates drop to 7-4 on the season and 3-1 in conference play. Southwestern will return to action on Friday, Jan. 3 in Seguin against Texas Lutheran University at 5:30 p.m.