The Ashland University men's basketball team lost in the final moments to Saginaw Valley, 59-56, on Saturday (Feb. 23) afternoon in University Center, Mich.
Sophomore Darnell Hoskins hit a 3-pointer with one second remaining and the Eagles were not able to get a desperation shot off before the buzzer sounded.
For the Eagles, junior Drew Noble became the 28th player on the program's 1,000-point list with a 3-pointer that put the Eagles up 50-46 with five minutes left.
The 18th-ranked Eagles (22-5, 14-5 GLIAC) led for much of the game, including by 14 with 17:30 to play in the game, but they went cold on the offensive end in the second half as the Cardinals (9-17, 5-13 GLIAC) climbed back into the game.
SVSU took its first lead of the second half with 6:08 to play on a layup by Myles Belyeu. Redshirt-sophomore wing Aaron Thompson answered with a layup, and after a stop, Noble hit his 1,000-point triple to give the Eagles a 50-46 lead.
The Cardinals went on a 6-0 run after that to go up, 52-50, before Thompson's layup with three minutes left tied the game.
The teams traded a free throw each over the next 90 seconds, but Hoskins gave Saginaw Valley at 56-53 lead with a 3-pointer off a feed from Belyeu with 1:18 to play.
The Cardinals then got a stop before redshirt-senior guard Ben Haraway came up with a clutch steal to give AU the ball with 11 seconds left. SVSU committed a foul, but Thompson made both free throws to make it 56-55.
On the ensuing inbound, the Cardinals could not get the ball inbounded and called timeout, but having utilized all their timeouts prior, were assessed a technical foul.
Noble made the penalty free throw, but Saginaw Valley retained possession of the ball. After the inbound, Hoskins hit his 3-pointer from the wing just before the buzzer. Hoskins finished with a game-high 28 points on 10-for-18 shooting. He hit six 3-pointers.
The defeat, coupled with Davenport's win over Northern Michigan, clinched the GLIAC regular season title for the Panthers, who will be the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament, which starts March 5.
Noble led the Eagles with 14 points, six rebounds, two assists, two steals and a block. Thompson registered a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds while sophomore forward Derek Koch was the third AU player in double figures with 11 points, going 3-for-8 from 3-point range.
The Eagles shot just 31 percent (16-for-51) for the game, including a 26 percent (7-for-27) from 3-point range. AU held a 33-32 edge in rebounding.
The Eagles will look to bounce back next Thursday (Feb. 28) on their Senior Night and regular season finale at Kates Gymnasium against Wayne State. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m.