ABILENE, Texas — Hardin-Simmons dropped a 76-74 heartbreaker to Concordia in American Southwest Conference men’s basketball action at the Mabee Complex on Thursday evening.
HSU took a 17-11 lead in the first half and that was the biggest lead for either team in the first half. Concordia scored the next five points and neither team led by more than three points the rest of the half.
Concordia scored the first seven points of the second half to lead 40-32, but HSU quickly cut it back to 42-41. Concordia led by as many as eight a couple of times but HSU battled back both times.
Titus Mims tied the game at 67 on a 3-pointer, but fouled out two possessions later. John Barnes gave HSU a 73-71 lead with a jumper with 1:16 to play. Josh Sanchez then split a pair of free throws and Dwayne Patterson hit a pair to give Concordia a 74-73 lead with :51 to play and Patterson scored again to make it 76-73.
Barnes split a pair of free throws with :46 to play and HSU forced a miss and had a last second shot to tie the game but Barnes contested layup missed at the buzzer.
The Cowboys shot themselves in the foot by going 11-for-24 at the free throw line in the game.
Mims led the Cowboys with 19 points and 11 rebounds, but fouled out with 3:55 to play. Leading scorer Derrick Jefferson fouled out with 3:10 to play after scoring nine points on the night. John Barnes had 14 points, four assists and four steals off the bench for the Cowboys.
Josh Sanchez had 27 points to pace Concordia. Patterson had all 20 of his points in the second half. He also had 10 rebounds. He played only two minutes in the first half. Adam Whitlock added 11 points for the Tornados.
HSU is now 6-7 on the year and 6-4 in league play. The loss snapped a five-game winning streak. Concordia improved to 11-3 overall and 8-3 in conference play. HSU hosts Mary Hardin-Baylor on Saturday at 3 p.m.