Beloit, WI -- The Beloit College Men's Basketball team battled to the end but came up just short in a 71-66 loss to Carroll University in the Midwest Conference opener for both teams and the first home game of the season for the Bucs.
The Buccaneers held a narrow lead thru the first seven minutes of the opening half before the Pioneers went on a 15-7 run to take a 26-18 lead at the 7:31 mark. CU held the lead thru most of the remaining seven minutes until Tanner Smith was fouled and hit a pair of free throws with under a second left to tie the game at 37-all at the break.
Carroll regained the lead with a three-pointer 16 seconds into the second half and never trailed again. The teams were tied at 42-42 at 18:48 and Beloit pulled to within one three times, the last with 9:36 remaining, but could never get over the hump. The Bucs were within three several times in the final five minutes but the Pioneers scored each time after Beloit cut into their lead.
Beloit shot 34.4% (21-61) for the game, including 29% (9-31) in the second half while Carroll finished at 50% (28-56) for the game.
Steve McAfee had 24 points to lead the Buccaneers, moving into 12th place on the all-time scoring list. Rudy Bentley scored 15. Andrew Bremner had a team-high eight rebounds while McAfee had seven and Smith six, five offensive.
Beloit is back on the road Saturday when they travel to Grinnell College for another MWC contest. Action begins at 1:00 p.m.