The senior point guard from Norwalk poured in a career-high 26 points, hit two tough running floaters in the final minutes and sank two free throws with 13.8 seconds left to cap a thrilling game and a 70-67 Pacific West Conference win for the Red Storm before a near packed house of 1,024 in the Van Dyne Gym.
The loss is the Lancers' third straight, their longest such streak this season, as they fall to 15-6, 9-5 PacWest.
The Red Storm took one giant leap towards their third straight PacWest title, improving to 19-4, 14-1.
"(Maurice) Cole was amazing tonight," said CBU Head Coach Tim Collins. "He hit hard shots and was very difficult to guard tonight."
Cole was 11-for-16 from the floor and had six assists and just one turnover.
The Lancers trailed 64-54 with 4:35 to play and mounted a furious comeback and a 13-3 spurt, keyed by three 3-pointers from Kevin Deeb to get within 68-67 with 14.6 seconds left. But there was too much of Cole, who buried two free throws with 13.8 seconds left, and Aleksander Milovic's last second game-tying 3-point attempt fell well short.
Four Lancers scored in double figures. Justus Von Wright and Ivan Patterson each finished with 17 points. Milovic had 12 points, all on 3-pointers, all in the first half. Luke Evans had 11 points before fouling out with 3:17 left.
In fact, the Lancers hit a season-high 12 3-pointers, going 8-for-15 in the first half to build a 41-36 lead. At one point, the Lancers led by 11 (37-26) with 4:01 to play on Milovic's final 3-pointer of the half.
Cole, though, scored six of the first eight points of the second half and Landon Clegg gave the Red Storm a 44-43 lead with a jumper with 16:58 to play. Clegg gave the Red Storm the lead for good with 11:26 to play with another jumper that made it 52-51.
Dixie State used a 10-1 run capped by a Cole jumper to take its 64-54 lead with 4:35 left and setting up a thrilling sprint to the finish.
"We didn't match their defensive intensity, and when they play harder defensively than you do offensively, that causes problems," said Collins. "We had to play from behind and made a great comeback, but it just wasn't quite enough. That is a really good team and it's no easy task to beat them."
The Red Storm shot 60.9 percent, the highest shooting percent by a Lancer opponent this year. They were 15-for-23 (65.2 percent) in the first half alone, staying within reach. They also committed just nine turnovers while turning 15 Lancer giveaways into 21 points.
Deeb finished with nine points, all of them coming in the final four minutes.
"We're finding out that if you want to be in the upper echelon of this conference, we're going to have to get deeper," said Collins. "We're not very far away, maybe just a player or two away."