Oklahoma Baptist lost a heartbreaking 74-69 quarterfinal contest to Campbellsville University Saturday, ending the Bison season at 24-10.
The Bison had a few opportunities to tie the game or take a lead late in a contest that had 10 lead changes and seven ties.
"On the one hand, you're glad your season ended in this building," said OBU coach Doug Tolin. "On the other, you're disappointed because I thought we would play better today. You look back on the game and we missed a lay-up on a 3-on-1, missed two free throws. Those are plays we are capable of making. We just didn't make them today."
The Bison struggled to get going, missing their first seven field goal attempts and turning the ball over three times on the first 11 possessions. OBU settled for a free throw in the first five minutes before Al Moore scored with 14:33 to trim Campbellsville's lead to 6-3.
Defense kept OBU in the game, limiting the Tigers to two of seven shooting in the first five minutes, while forcing a couple of turnovers.
OBU took its first lead on the first of four first-half three-pointers by Justin Williams at the 11:15 mark, 13-12. From there, there were five more lead changes and three ties.
The Bison fell behind by five before getting an 8-1 run that included two more Williams treys and a dunk by Charles Carter to take their largest lead of the half, 26-24, with 3:50 left in the half. Unfortunately, the Bison were a rough 1-of-9 from three-point country in the second half.
Carter surprised the Tigers with a 12-point performance after scoring just one point in the first two tournament games.
"I was really proud of the way Charles played today," Tolin said. "He gave us something to build on. I wish we had another game here."
The halftime lead belonged to CU, 36-33.
The Bison started the second half much hotter than the first, hitting six of the first seven shots to keep pace with the Tigers.
Moore and Brent Jones scored back-to-back baskets to give OBU a 59-58 lead with 7:17 left in the game, but Deveon Jenkins scored five unanswered points to put the lead back in CU's hands for good.
Moore and Brian Hill went 4-4 in back-to-back trips to the free throw line to get the lead back down to a single point and Evan Grace answered two CU free throws with two of his own to make it 70-69 with 29 seconds left.
OBU had one final chance when Troy Harris missed a free throw with 14 seconds left with a two-point lead, but Colmenares out-worked OBU for the rebound and another two free throws by Long.
With the win, Campbellsville moves on to the semifinals, which have now included an unseeded team for the fourth consecutive season.
Carter, Jones and Williams had 12 each to lead the Bison, with Hill adding 10.
The loss brought to an end the final successful season for seniors Grace, Jamar Fortune and Hill.
"If we all loved OBU basketball like Jamar does, we'd all be better at what we do," Tolin said. "Brian was a one-year player and I wish we had him here a lot longer. Some one-year guys - maybe they go to class and maybe they don't. But Brian had done it right.
"Evan has led this team this year. None of these guys had been here before. He did a great job of leading this team back here and the improvement he made this season is because he works hard every day."