Tigers fall in closing minutes of must-win game
GREENCASTLE, IND. - Faced with a must-win situation, the Tigers battled Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference leader Millsaps all the way before falling 72-63.
In a game that included eight ties and 15 lead changes, Millsaps jumped out to an early lead before the Tigers scored seven straight to gain a 28-23 advantage with 5:29 left. The teams finished the half tied 36-36.
The Majors led most of the second half and held a 55-52 advantage after a Thomas Adams layup with 6:32 left.
Dave Gifford hit one of two free throws before Joe Nixon nailed three of four in a 43-second span to push the Tigers ahead, 56-55 with 4:12 remaining.
Back-to-back three-pointers from Lance toner and Travis Ezelle and afree throw from Stoner put the Majors ahead 62-56 with 2:28 left. Gifford's three-pointer with 2:15 left cut the lead in half.
Stoner nailed a pair of free throws with 1:44 left to make it 64-59 before the Tigers missed a three-pointer on the other end. After Portica Harris missed the front end of a one-and-one, the Tigers again missed a three-pointer.
Ezelle hit two free throws with 46 seconds left to push the Millsaps margin to seven. A Jeremy Bettis layup cut the margin back to five with 34 seconds remaining.
The big blow for the Tigers came when Joe Ringger was whistled for an intentional foul on Adams with 27 seconds left. Adams nailed both free throws. One second later, Adams was fouled and again hit the two charity tosses to push the lead to nine and end DePauw's chances.
Ringger led the Tigers with 17 followed by Bettis with 15 and Nixon with 11. Ringger added nine rebounds. Daniel Waguespack paced Millsaps with 15 points with Adams adding 14 and Ezelle and Joe Rogers scoring 11 each. Adams grabbed eight boards.
The Tigers shot only 35.7 percent for the game and just 30.8 percent in the second half and were held to a season-low three three-pointers.
DePauw is at Trinity on Friday at 8 p.m. CST.