TLU point guard Nathan Joseph’s banked in the game-winning runner just before time expired to lift the Bulldogs over Centenary 77-75 on Friday at Memorial Gym.
(Seguin) – The Texas Lutheran men’s basketball team improved its chances of advancing to the upcoming Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament with a pair of home wins last week, edging Centenary 77-75 on Nathan Joseph’s buzzer beater Friday night and outlasting Austin College 84-74 on Saturday.
The Bulldogs (10-14) are 6-7 in the SCAC and part of a three-way tie for fifth place with Southwestern and Colorado College with one game left on the schedule. TLU can clinch a conference tournament berth with a win over Southwestern in this Friday’s regular season finale. The Bulldogs are only one game behind fourth-place Centenary and could move into a fourth-place tie if they beat Southwestern and the Gents drop their final game to Austin College.
TLU’s junior point guard Josephs stole the ball and dribbled three-quarters the length of the court to bank in a final-second left-handed runner that pushed the Bulldogs past Centenary on Friday.
TLU trailed by as many as eight points in the second half and by seven with 2:07 remaining in the game.
The Centenary lead was five with 34 seconds to play before Bulldog freshman guard Sebastian Andrade (El Paso/Americas) erupted for 10 points, including two three-pointers in a span of 24 seconds.
Andrade's second three of the streak brought TLU within one. After Centenary went 1-for-2 at the line, Andrade scored his ninth and 10th points of the spurt on a driving layup to tie the game at 75 with 10 seconds remaining.
Centenary quickly brought the ball up the right sideline, looking for a last-second, game-winning shot. Josephs stripped the ball from the Gents and sprinted up the floor. He scored on a contested lay-up on the left side of the goal. The buzzer sounded, and a TLU celebration on the court ensued.
The officials eventually put 0.2 seconds on the clock. Centenary threw the ball to midcourt, where Travion Kirkendoll heaved a desperation airball after the buzzer.
Andrade scored 19 of his team-high 26 points in the second half. He also pulled down a team-high six rebounds. Bulldog teammate Shawn Hamilton also had six boards.
Josephs contributed 17 points (14 in the second half) to go with six assists.
Kirkendoll led the Gents with 32 points. He also had five rebounds and two steals. Cedric Harris and Kaharri Carter scored 16 and 11, respectively.
In the win Saturday over Austin College, five different TLU players hit double figures. Andrade followed up his 26-point performance on Friday with a 17-point, seven-rebound effort against Austin. Andrade hit five of his 10 shots, and he dished out three assists.
Matthew Gillette, the senior forward playing in his final home game, scored 13 and pulled down seven rebounds. Jackson Willoughby and Jacob Kouremetis each chipped in 12. Kouremetis hit four three-pointers. Alex Cage came off the Bulldog bench to score 11 points and grab five rebounds.
TLU shot 47.5 percent from the field overall and 51.9 percent in the second half. The Bulldogs led 38-36 at the half and out-scored the Kangaroos 46-38 in the final 20 minutes. Kam Hogan led Austin with 22 points and seven rebounds.
TLU’s regular season finale against Southwestern is Friday at 5:30 p.m. in Georgetown.