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ETBU guard Jordan Gray puts the move on defenders as he drives the lane against Hardin-Simmons on Saturday.

Despite seeing Robby Dooley lead the game in scoring with 27 points and his team in rebounds with seven, the ETBU Tigers fell short to the Hardin-Simmons Cowboys in an 83-76 final Saturday.

The Tigers are now 6-6 overall and 4-2 in American Southwest Conference play. Hardin-Simmons is 9-6 overall and 5-2 against conference opponents.

Chris Haynes was next in line scoring for the Tigers with 15 points. He also pulled down seven rebounds. Westin Riddick dropped in 11 points. Jarrell Taylor dropped in eight points while Nathan Fontenot scored seven points. Jordan Gray scored five and Spencer Cochran tossed in three points.

Chris Barrett led the Cowboys in scoring with 19 points. Jalen Terry was next in line with 14 and Steven Quinn was behind him with 12. Joe Hoeup and Keenan Holdman each scored 11 points. Neal Chambliss dropped in seven. Kadon Lewis scored four points, Justin Lavvorn dropped in three and Trey Woodridge finished the day with two.

It took more than 90 seconds for the first points of the game to be scored. Joe Hoeup’s layup gave Hardin-Simmons an early 2-0 lead with 18:23 showing on the clock. Eight seconds later, Haynes’ bucket tied it up and Dooley’s gave the Tigers a 4-2 lead before Holdman tied it back up at 4-4. Terry’s layup put the Cowboys back on top but a three from Riddick followed by a three from Dooley gave the Tigers a 10-6 lead. Moments later, a pair of buckets from Barrett tied the game up at 12-12. The Tigers regained the lead with a pair of foul shots before an and-one from Chambliss put the Cowboys back in the lead, 15-14. A two from Taylor and a three from Riddick gave ETBU a 19-15 lead before Chambliss’ layup made it 19-17. That was followed a run by the Cowboys who jumped to a 27-19 lead.

ETBU chipped away as Fontenot and Cochran each had a layup to cut the Tigers’ deficit to 27-24 before Barrett’s Jumper made it 29-24 with 4:38 left in the first half. The two teams exchanged buckets as HSU continued to led by five, 31-26. A layup from Holdman and a pair of trips to the free throw line gave the Cowboys a 10-point lead, 38-28. Gray then drained a three to make it a 38-31 game. Dooley banked in the final shot of the first half as the two teams went into the locker rooms with a halftime score of 39-33.

Holdman scored the first points of the second half by tipping in a missed shot. Haynes came away with an and-one on the other end and a couple possessions later, Dooley’s shot made it a one-possession game, 43-40 with 17:49 to play. A pair of free throws from Dooley made it 43-42. Quinn gave his team some separation with a three before the Cowboys came up with a steal and Holdman’s bucket made it a 48-42 game. Quinn drained a three before Haynes came up with a layup and Riddick drained another three. That put the Tigers back within four points, 51-47. A three from Lovvorn was followed by a jumper from Fontenot. Taylor then came up with a bucket to make it 56-53. Taylor went 2-for-2 from the foul line to put the Tigers within one point with 11:27 left to play. Terry then gave his team some breathing room with a pair of threes to put his team up 62-57 with 9:53 remaining.

An and-one from Dooley made it 62-58. Barrett scooped up a steal and took it the other way for a layup to spread his team’s lead to 64-58. Gray’s layup made it a two-possession game with a 64-60 score with 7:48 left in the game. Barrett brought his team’s lead back up to six with a layup but moments later, Fontenot stood all by himself at the top of the key and pulled the trigger on the three as it fell through the net, cutting ETBU’s deficit to 66-63. Barrett repaid the favor on the other end with a three from the top of the key, giving the Cowboys a 70-63 lead. Hoeup was fouled as his layup but was unable to complete the three-point play, making the score 72-63 with 4:20 remaining. An and-one from Dooley made it a six-point game before the two teams exchanged buckets. Haynes went 2-for-2 on his next trip to the foul line. Barrett’s layup made it 78-72 before Dooley added a layup and Haynes scored from down low to make it a two-point game, 78-76 with 1:21 left to play.

A shot clock violation against the Cowboys gave the Tigers the ball with 53 seconds remaining. ETBU missed a shot that was recovered by HSU. The Cowboys then called timeout with 28 seconds left on the game clock and 18 seconds left on the shot clock. Hoeup drained a long three as the shot clock expired, lifting his team to an 81-76 lead, forcing ETBU to call timeout with 10 seconds to go. Barrett came away with a steal and took the clock down to just two seconds. He was fouled and sent to the free throw line where he made both shots to put the nail in the coffin and seal up the 83-76 win.

ETBU is slated to return to action Tuesday when it plays host to LeTourneau. Tipoff is slated for 7:30 p.m.