Concordia picked up a big GSAC home win on Tuesday night, January 22, as they beat crosstown rival Vanguard in a last-second finish, 82-81, inside CU Arena.
Concordia trailed by one with 28 seconds left, Peter Smith could not find the open man, drove the lane, pump faked, and finished with contact from 10 feet to give Concordia the one-point edge. VU's Preston Wynne's sideways jumper was halfway down as the clock expired at the other end.
Dakota Downs controlled the paint in this one, with 24 points and 15 rebounds, his sixth double-double of the year. Peter Smith added 17 points, including his game-winner, going seven-of-seven from the stripe. Tim Harris also had 17, going five-of-10 from the field. Concordia dominated the boards, 37-26, and shot 53% from the field, compared to 51% for Vanguard. Vanguard made 11 threes compared to three for Concordia, but Concordia made up the difference going 19-of-22 from the line.
Vanguard took the lead early as point guard Chris Gorman could not miss and the Lions led 12-9 with 15:39 left. Concordia took the lead, 14-12, on a Harris jumper at the 13:43 mark. It was back and forth from there with the game tied at 22 with 8:16 left. The squads traded leads again for the next six minutes until they tied at 33 with two minutes left in the half. Concordia took a two-point lead with 51 seconds left on two Downs' free throws, but Gorman drilled a three with 38 seconds left to give Vanguard the 38-37 halftime lead.
Vanguard led by six, 44-38, two minutes into the second half, but Concordia came back to tie, 52-52, on a jumper from Downs. The turning point came at 11:25 with Vanguard up eight, 62-54. Concordia came back on a 10-1 run led by a layup from Harris, tip-in from Tyler Hickert, jumper from Smith, layup from Smith, and tip-in in traffic from Downs. Concordia led by four, 70-66, on an Alex Rudd layup with 5:25 left. Vanguard took a one-point lead with 1:47 left on a tip-in, but Smith made a twisting layup at the other end. Concordia trapped on the next play, but left Ennis Whatley Jr. alone under the basket for a layup. Tim Harris responded with a double-clutch layup, but Concordia was whistled for a reach foul 30 feet from the basket at Vanguard's end. Wynne made both freebies before Smith made his game-winner.
With the win Concordia improved to 13-6 and 2-3 in the GSAC, while Vanguard fell to 13-7 and 2-3 in conference play.