Scott Kohne scored 32 points and coralled 10 rebounds, but the University of Saint Francis fell three points short of victory in a 67-65 setback at Marian University on Thursday.
"We don't have time to dwell on what might have been or what if'," Cougar coach Chad LaCross said in a release. "We've just one day to get ready for Grace on Saturday, so we will just keep working, trying to fix some things because we are really close (to winning these close games)."
Now 12-7 overall, 4-3 in Crossroads League play, the Cougars three losses in league play have been by 5 points, 3 and 2.
Cougar senior Kevin Bloom scored 17 points and was the only other Saint Francis player in double figures.
Nick Achille was the only player in double digits for Marian (11-6, 3-4 CL) with 27 points.
Saint Francis grabbed the lead twice in the second half, the last time on a Kohne jumper, 52-51 with 7:33 to play. Kohne scored again to tie the game at 54 (sixth time in the game) with 6:55 to play, but Marian's Dwight Cliff hit his only 3-pointer of the game at 6:32 for a 57-54 lead and the Knights ran off five more points extending its lead to 61-54.
The Cougars clawed back within two, 61-59, with 4:55 to play, but Saint Francis didn't get that close again until the final 15 seconds remained.
Seth Small was fouled with 15 seconds left and missed the first free throw, then made the second for the final margin.
Chad Roberts was fouled and left Saint Francis with a chance when he missed the front of the bonus with 15 seconds to play. After a Cougar timeout with 2.5 seconds to play, they made a bad pass attempting to get the ball into Kohne and what little times was left ran off the clock.
"We did some good things to get back in it," LaCross said. "But missed free throws at crunch time and though we only had 12 turnovers, we made some mistakes at critical times."
The teams traded leads in the first half with Saint Francis taking a 22-20 lead on a Bloom 3-pointer with 6:05 to play. But Marian answered with a Achille 3-pointer and it controlled the lead through the end of the half for 33-28 halftime advantage.
Kohne poured in 24 of his 32 points in the second half and Saint Francis shot 52.4 percent (11 for 21), but it wasn't enough to overtake the Knights, who shot 48.3 percent (14 for 29) in the second half, 37.5 percent (3 for 8) from 3-point range, to offset getting outscored 37-34 in the final 20 minutes.
"We weren't as sharp on defense as we have been," LaCross said. "But we did make some stops to stay in contention. Now we've got to work on a plan to win on Saturday, which won't be easy."
Saint Francis will host Grace at the Hutzell Athletic Center on Saturday approximately 3 p.m. (following the women's basketball game at 1 p.m.).