SALEM Ore. - Hardin-Simmons' men's basketball overcame a 25-point deficit in the second half, but eventually lost 72-71 in overtime to Willamette on Saturday night in Salem, Ore.
HSU opened the game 1-for-13 from the field and 1-for-10 at the free throw line and fell behind 20-2 in the first 11 minutes of the game. The closest the Cowboys came in the first half was 25-10, but Willamette outscored the Cowboys 13-5 the final 4:38 of the half to take a 38-15 lead.
Williamette pushed its lead to 44-19 with 17:10 to play but then the Cowboys went on a huge 36-5 run to take a 55-49 lead on a Darius Singletary layup with 6:30 to play.
HSU led 62-54 after an Eric Taylor layup with 3:44 to play, but Willamette rallied to send the game to overtime. Avery Manu's layup with :15 tied the game and freshman Daylon Jones' attempt at the buzzer was off the mark for the Cowboys.
Taylor gave the Cowboys a 71-70 lead in the overtime with a jumper with 2:02 to play. HSU still lead by the same score with :28 seconds when Darius Singletary missed a pair of free throws and Jeff Holland fouled Kyle McNally going for the rebound. McNally made both free throws to give WU the 72-71 lead. HSU played for the last shot but did not get off a shot.
HSU went 18-of-35 from the free throw line and turned the ball over 25 times in the loss. Willamette shot just 29.6 percent in the game and turned it over 29 times, but won the game at the foul line by hitting 24-of-31 charity tosses.
Taylor led the Cowboys with 21 points and Titus Mims added 20 before fouling out early in overtime. Singletary had 16 points, 14 rebounds and five assists from his point guard spot.
Elliot Babcock-Krenk led four Bearcats in double figures with 17 points.
The Cowboys are now 1-1 on the season and will be off until Nov. 29 when it hosts Ozarks in the home and conference opener. Willamette improved to 1-1 on the year.