WAUKESHA, Wis. -- In a game that saw 15 lead changes that were no bigger than six points, the Simpson men's basketball team lost a 71-70 heartbreaker against Carroll in the first day of the Carroll Pre-Thanksgiving Tournament on Friday.
The Storm (4-2) had a chance to tie the nonconference battle late in the game as Adam Reiter sank a free throw to come within one at 71-70, but missed the second portion of his 1-and-1 to let the clock tick out as the Pioneers (5-0) grabbed the rebound.
Simpson tallied its lowest shooting percentage of the season by connecting on 45.3% of its attempts and went 5-for-13 from behind the arc en route to the Storm's lowest scoring output of the year.
Conor Riordan had a team-high 21 points on 7 of 12 shooting, while Reiter had his second consecutive double-double with 17 points and 13 rebounds. As a unit, the team grabbed 35 boards while the Pioneers had 22.
Carroll started the game on a 9-4 run before Simpson went on an 8-0 scoring spree to take the lead as Ahmed Musa and Riordan both had four points during the run. Both teams were neck-and-neck throughout the majority of the first half while the game sat at 30-30 with 2:17 left in the first stanza. Riordan sank two free throws at the 1:28-minute mark to make it a 32-30 contest, which held into halftime.
Coming out of the break, the Storm were able to capture their largest lead of six points at 44-36 as less than six minutes ran off the clock. Simpson would maintain the lead over the course of the next five minutes before the Pioneers tied it at 52-52 with 9:37 left. The hosts would take the advantage at 58-54 a minute later.
As the clock neared the end of regulation, both teams sat in a gridlock at 67-67 with 1:59 left. The Storm would never go over the hump as Carroll took the lead on a pair of free throws and held on to give Simpson its first one-point loss since suffering a 91-90 defeat against Buena Vista on Nov. 29, 2017.
Simpson takes on Greenville on the final day of the Carroll Pre-Thanksgiving Tournament tomorrow at 2 p.m.