SHERMAN, Texas – The Austin College men's basketball team held a two point lead with under five minutes to play, but the 'Roos had some costly turnovers and struggled to knock down free throws as the Tigers took control down the stretch to hand the 'Roos a 71-64 loss on Friday night. The 'Roos fall to 7-13 overall and 3-7 in Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference play.
Colorado College jumped out to an early 10-5 lead, but Alan Sullivan knocked down a three and followed that up with a short jumper to tie things up, and after the Tigers regained the lead at 17-13, Kevin Graham and Eghosa Igbinosa combined for six in a row as the 'Roos grabbed a 19-17 advantage with 8:14 left in the opening half.
Justin Berardino knocked down a three to give Colorado College a 22-21 lead, but Brian Baehl answered back with a triple of his own to make it 24-22 with 4:39 left in the half. Chris Lesnansky hit two free throws to push the Tigers ahead 26-24, but four quick points from Cedric Hudson put Austin College ahead until a dunk from John Hatch squared things up again at 28 apiece heading into the locker room.
The 'Roos came out hot to start the second half, with Jeremy Swisher scoring the first bucket of the half and Aaron Anwary knocking down a three, and baskets from Austin Freet and Baehl put Austin College ahead 37-33. The Tigers came battling back to grab a 44-40 lead following a layup by Lesnansky, but Swisher's three pointer made it 47-46 in favor of the 'Roos with 10:58 to play.
The lead switched hands seven times over the next six minutes, with Igbinosa hitting a jumper to make it 58-56 in favor of Austin College with 4:57 to play. However, Luke Winfield's three pointer gave the Tigers the lead, and Austin College turned it over on three straight possessions as Colorado College pushed the advantage to 63-58 with 1:47 left in the game. Russell Clark hit a jumper with 1:03 left, and Lesnansky knocked down four free throws in the final 39 seconds to help seal the win for the Tigers despite late buckets from Hudson and Sullivan.
Igbinosa finished with 12 points, seven boards, and two blocks and Sullivan added 12 points to lead Austin College, and Baehl finished with 10 points, five rebounds, and three assists in the loss.
Lesnansky hit 14-of-15 free throws to finish with a game-high 24 points and added nine rebounds and three assists to lead Colorado College, and Clark chipped in 10 points and five boards for the Tigers.
Austin College athletic teams participate as a member of the NCAA Division III and the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference.