The Austin College men's basketball team rallied from a six point deficit with under a minute to play to square things up, but a three pointer from East Texast Baptist with three seconds remaining gave the 'Roos an 80-77 loss on Saturday afternoon in Hughey Gymnasium. The 'Roos are now 1-1 overall this season.
The 'Roos came out strong early, jumping out to a 9-6 lead after a three point play for Walter Phillips, but ETBU used an 11-2 run to make it 17-11 with 11:50 left in the opening half. After a layup by Colton Castle cut it to a 19-15 game, the Tigers went on another run, this time 11-4, to push it to a 30-19 game with 5:22 left in the first half.
The lead grew to 35-23 on a three pointer by Chris Collins with 3:52 remaining, but four quick points from Harry Hampden-Smith and five free throws by Antoine Thompson cut the deficit to 41-32 heading into the break.
Jordan Hancock scored five points early in the second half to make it a 45-38 game, and baskets by Phillips and Alen Michael trimmed the margin to 47-43 with 14:16 remaining. Austin College would battle back to square things at 50 on a basket by Ransom Okpala with 12:15 remaining, but ETBU extended the lead back to 60-54 with 9:31 to play.
The lead grew to 68-61 on a breakaway dunk by Jaron Joseph with under six minutes to play, but Okpala scored five points during a 7-3 spurt to make it 71-68 with just under three minutes left. The 'Roos were unable to inch closer over the next two minutes, and a basket by Joseph made it a 77-71 game with 42 seconds remaining.
Okpala drilled a three with 33 seconds left, and after a steal by the 'Roos Michael knocked down a trey with 16 seconds remaining to knot things up at 77 apiece. However, the Tigers found Joseph in the corner for a three pointer with three seconds remaining, lifting ETBU to the dramatic 80-77 victory.
Phillips finished with 16 points to lead the 'Roos and Okpala scored all 15 of his points in the second half, adding four assists and four steals. Thompson finished with 13 and Hancock added 12 in the loss.
Joseph finished with a game-high 23 points and added three steals to lead ETBU, while Collins came off the bench to score 12 and grab a game-high eight boards. Junior Mitchell and Kerry McClahan added 11 and 10, respectively.
Austin College heads out on the road next weekend when they take on Washington University and Nebraska Wesleyan in Omaha on Friday and Saturday.
Austin College athletic teams participate as a member of the NCAA Division III and the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference.
About Austin College
Austin College is a leading national independent liberal arts college located north of Dallas in Sherman, Texas. Founded in 1849, making it the oldest institution of higher education in Texas operating under original charter and name, the college is related by covenant to the Presbyterian Church (USA). Recognized nationally for academic excellence in the areas of international education, pre-professional training, and leadership studies, Austin College is one of 40 schools profiled in Loren Pope's influential book Colleges that Change Lives.