KERVILLE, Texas — The Southwestern University Pirates men's basketball team dropped its third consecutive conference game on the road, falling to Schreiner University 79-77.
Brandon Alexander led the Pirates with 23 points and eight rebounds and Joel Martinez had 14 points off the bench but it wasn't enough to overcome a slow start for a Southwestern University team that shot just 42.9 percent in the first half, including 3-for-10 from deep.
Schreiner capitalized with an early double-digit advantage, leading by 12 with 5:13 remaining in the first half. Alexander paced the Pirates with 14 points and three rebounds before the break. Schreiner countered with a strong one-two punch from Ellis Jones and Matthew Rindahl, who combined for 22 points on 8-for-17 shooting in the half to give Shriner a 38-30 lead.
The Pirates found some life offensively in the second half, getting two 3-pointers from Justin McCormack and 20 combined bench points from Luke Hicks, Joel Martinez, and Trenton Garrett. Southwestern shot 54.8 percent after the break, including 5-for-11 from deep and 8-for-11 from the free-throw line, taking a five-point lead with 3:17 remaining in the game on a Hicks' 3-pointer to put the Pirates ahead 75-70.
Schreiner closed the game on a 9-2 run, getting a pair of layups and five free throws, including a pair from Rindahl that put Schreiner ahead for good at 78-77 with 23 seconds remaining.
Jones lead Schreiner with 18 points and three steals while Rindahl had a double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Josh Bashford added 10 points, five rebounds, and three assists off the bench.
With the loss, the Pirates drop to 10-11 on the season and 7-5 in conference play. The Pirates will travel to San Antonio this Saturday to play Trinity University on Feb. 9 at 7:30 p.m.