Second-Half Surge Lifts CC Over Austin

By  | 

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Colorado College used a 21-5 run early in the second half to break open a defensive struggle and pull away for a 68-53 victory over Austin College on Friday night at Reid Arena.

Four Tigers, including starting guards Justin Berardino and Ryan Milne with 13 points apiece, scored in double digits to pace a balanced offense.

Junior forward Chris Lesnansky added 12 points and six rebounds, while sophomore forward James Lonergan added 10 points and a team-high seven boards.

Milne tied his season high with seven assists and grabbed six rebounds to help CC improve to 8-2 overall and 2-0 in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference.

After the Roos’ Jeremy Swisher knotted the score at 34-34 on a layup 4:13 into the second half, Colorado College scored 21 of the next 26 points, including eight in a row from its bench to ignite the deciding flurry.

Senior guard Ransom Okpala paced Austin with a game-high 16 points. Junior forward Alvin Michael recorded a double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds, and swatted away four shots for Austin, which dropped to 4-6 overall and 0-1 in the SCAC.

Lonergan struck for five points during the opening five minutes to help the Tigers bolt to an early 13-2 lead.

Sophomore guard Jimmy King answered with five points of his own to ignite a 16-4 run that gave Austin its first lead on a pair of free throws by Swisher with 7:46 remaining in the first half.

Freshman guard Brian Baehl’s jumper gave the Roos a 23-21 lead with 5:05 to play, but Lesnansky sank a pair of free throws and converted off a feed from Milne to help CC take a 26-25 lead after 20 minutes.

Colorado College plays host to Centenary College on Sunday at noon.