Jared Irvin, junior guard, jumps up in response to a pass by Southwestern Christian University’s Ray Hilliard, junior guard during Monday night’s basketball game in Stewart Field House. The men won the game 75-68 after nearly surrendering a 17-point first half lead. Irvin had nine points against the Eagles, six coming from beyond the arch. It was the Moundbuilder’s opening home game of season and their win catapulted them to 2-0 on the season and an early lead atop the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference. The men take on Mid-America Christian University at 7 p.m. Thursday in Stewart Field House. Clinton Dick/Collegian photographer.

The men’s basketball team gave the crowd a show at Stewart Field House Monday night for their opening home game of the season. The Builders outlasted Southwestern Christian University 75-68 to improve to 2-0 on the year.

The Builders came out on fire, quickly grabbing the momentum and keeping it throughout the first half. They went into the locker rooms at halftime with a comfortable 37-20 lead.

“We just came out with a tremendous amount of energy,” said Matt O’Brien, head basketball coach. “I was proud of our demeanor on the court.”

Southwestern shot 53.8 percent from the field in the first half compared to Southwestern Christian’s 29.2 percent.

The second half saw a much different game than the first.

“Our transition defense really killed us in the second half,” said Ethan Randolph, junior forward.

Southwestern Christian slowly worked their way back into the game, cutting the Builder lead to 69-67 with little time left on the clock. Mistakes and miscues sealed the opponent’s fate as Southwestern walked away with the victory.

“It is good to be 2-0,” said Travis Thurau, senior forward. “A lot of us are playing really hard and really good.”

Randolph shined in his second game as a Builder, scoring 30 points and hitting 11 of 18 shots.

“I love it here at Southwestern and I love playing basketball,” said Randolph. “I felt in rhythm tonight and my team was giving me good shots.”

Chris Nelson, junior forward, also played well, leading the team in rebounds with eight and putting up 12 points.

The Builders next game tips off at 7 p.m. at Stewart Field House against Mid America Christian University.

Clinton Dick is a sophomore majoring in convergent journalism. You may e-mail him at clinton.dick@sckans.edu.