ST. LOUIS, Mo.—Playing in front of the home crowd for the first time this season, the Griffins hoped to treat its fans to its first win on the year, however, the University of Dallas Crusaders pulled away late in the second half spoiling the home opener and going on for the 79-66 win.
Fontbonne (0-3), shot 41.8 percent from the floor and were led by Luke DeLine's career-high 14 points off the bench. Kris McCann reached double-digit figures for the third straight game with his 13 points, while Erich Schark scored a career-high 10 points, to go along with his team-high eight boards.
Dallas (3-0), meanwhile, ended the evening with a 47.1 field goal percentage, including shooting 53.3 percent in the second half. The Crusaders also controlled the paint, outscoring Fontbonne 48-24.
Four players had 12 points or higher and leading the way was Spencer Levi. The center was dominant with his game-high 20 points and 12 boards. Michael Wambsganss contributed 17 off the bench, while the duo of John Russell and Darrius Colvin added 12 points each.
In the first half, Fontbonne held the lead early throughout with Jared Woodcock's 3-pointer giving them a 15-11 advantage at 11:53.
The Griffins were still on top 23-22, until Wambsganss sank his 3-pointer to give the Crusaders at 25-23 lead with 7:13 to go. Later, a made jumper from Jahmad Wilburn at the top of the key tied it up at 29-29 (4:59).
Then, over the next minute and 54 seconds, Dallas rattled off a 7-0 run to expand its lead out to 36-29. The Crusaders held onto that lead the rest of the way, going into the locker room on top 41-35.
Fontbonne had a better field goal percentage of 44.0 compared to Dallas' 42.1. However, the Griffins committed 11 turnovers. Individually, DeLine led off with bench with nine, while Levi was 6-of-7 to finish with 13 points.
At 10:39 of the second half, Darrius Colvin made his jumper but on the ensuing play, DeLine sank the 3-pointer allowing the Griffins to stay within striking distance at 57-52.
Dallas was holding onto its 60-56 lead at 8:39 but Tristian Baker's made 3-pointer erupted the crowd and narrowed the teams' deficit down to just 60-59.
After a missed 3-pointer by Dallas, Wiggins came down the court and hit his jumper to give FBU its first lead of the half at 61-60 with 6:46 left in regulation.
UD went on to get the advantage back on Levi's made lay-up at 5:26. The Crusaders stretched its lead out to 74-66 (1:55) on Wambsganss' made 3-pointer and that was enough for them to fend off the Griffins to win by 13.
FBU looks to bounce back on Monday at home when they'll host Robert Morris-Springfield. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.
Fans make sure to stay updated on fontbonnegriffins.com throughout the year for full updates and recaps on the men's basketball team.