GEORGETOWN, Texas - After battling back from 17 points down Southwestern was ultimately defeated by a half-court hail mary by Colorado College's Ryan Milne as time expired on Sunday.
SU's confidence was evident early as they systematically picked apart the Tiger's defense to take an early 12-7 lead four minutes in.
Colorado College hung around and took the lead 16-14 with nine minutes remaining in the first half on a pair of free throws by Jake Tramatulo.
Josh Mann's put back with under five minutes to play followed by a jump hook on the next possession gave Southwestern the lead back once again, 21-19, but Colorado ended the half on a run to take a six point lead, 30-24, into halftime.
Southwestern got down by as many as 17 before mounting a comeback and getting back-to-back threes from Ryan Fees to bring SU within eight, 50-42. The run continued until SU had pulled within four, 51-47 with 6:39 to play, forcing a Tiger timeout. The tactic didn't work as the Pirates' run continued as they came within one point after a Chase Kocher layup and free throw.
Travis Kurtz's three erased the deficit and gave SU the lead 53-52, for the first time since four minutes left in the first half. Colorado took the lead back on the ensuing possession and retained it until less than a minute to play. Southwestern got a huge stop on the defensive end as Kurtz blocked Chris Lesnansky's jumper, allowing the Pirates to get a look in transition. Sean Myers delivered a perfect pass to Michael Cantu streaking towards the basket. Cantu coolly hit the layup with multiple players around him with three seconds remaining, putting SU up 62-61.
A desperation three was all the Tigers could manage and was ultimately all they needed as Milne received the inbounds pass, took two dribbles and launched a shot from the midline that fell perfectly through the hoop to hand CC the win.
Southwestern played extremely well, shooting 50% from the floor and committing just six turnovers in the contest while holding Colorado to 46% from the floor and forcing them into 11 turnovers. SU was outrebounded, however, 37-21 in the loss.
Kocher led Southwestern with 19 points on 9-12 shooting from the floor while Josh Mann added in 10 off the bench. CC's Milne led all scorers with 21 points.
The loss drops SU to 10-15 on the year and 6-9 in the SCAC while Colorado improves to 15-10 overall and 11-4 in conference play. Southwestern enters the conference tournament as the #4 seed and will face Centenary College on Friday at 5 p.m. in Sherman, Texas.