ALPINE, TX (02.27.20) – Defending conference champion UT Dallas is moving on the semifinals of the 2020 American Southwest Conference Tournament thanks to a 77-61 win over Hardin-Simmons Thursday afternoon in the opening round, held at the Gallego Center on the campus of Sul Ross State.
The ASC East champion Comets (now 21-5) will face East Texas Baptist at 5 p.m. Friday with a spot in Saturday’s league title game on the line. A win Thursday would send UTD to the ASC championship title for the sixth time in school history. That game would take place at 6 p.m. Saturday.
Senior Hans Burwitz collected his ASC-leading 16th ‘double-double’ of the year as he finished with 22 points and 10 rebounds, both game highs, to spark the Comets to the opening-round victory. Burwitz was 8-for-11 from the field, hitting both three-point attempts, and added a 4-6 performance from the line as one of three Comets in double figures. Jalen Weber added 13 points while Xavier Ferrell added 11 points.
It took some time for the Comets to find their legs in their postseason opener, but would take the lead on HSU for good at the 8:15 mark of the opening half when Michael Forster gave UTD a 20-19 advantage on a three-pointer. The would slowly pull away before taking an eight-point cushion, 36-28, into to the locker room.
The Comets never trailed in the second half, widening their lead to as many as 19 points late in the contest. UTD shot an impressive 57.7 percent (15-of-26) from the field in the second half, while out-rebounding the Cowboys, 16-8, after the break.
UTD finished the game shooting 46.4 percent (26-of-56) as a team, making 8-of-24 three-pointers (33.3%), and were 17-of-19 (89.5%) from the line. The Comets ended the game with a 37-21 rebounding advantage.
Earlier on Thursday, ASC East No. 3 seed East Texas Baptist opened the tournament with a slight upset of ASC West second-seeded Concordia Texas, 80-76.