|49ers Win Thriller|
Brooklyn, NY - With eight made free throws by Pierria Henry in the final four seconds, the Charlotte 49ers (21-10) come-from-behind to defeat Richmond (18-14), 68-63, in the first round of the Atlantic 10 Tournament.
"One of the craziest endings I have ever been a part of," Charlotte coach Alan Major said. "You could not script this if you were making a movie. Our guys hung in there. I thought our defense improved in the second half. Our guys have just shown great fortitude. It was a hard fought game I am so proud that we hung in there down in stretch."
Henry scored a career-high 28 points. He went 12-for-15 from the free throw line including 8-for-11 from the line in the final four seconds. He also grabbed a career-high 12 rebounds for his third straight double-double and his fourth double-double of the season.
The 49ers defense limited Richmond to only five field goals in the second half. The 49ers also finished the game with a dominating 42-22 rebounding advantage. The 49ers enjoyed a 44-16 advantage on points in the paint.
With 4.7 seconds left in the second half, Henry was fouled by Richmond's Cedrick Lindsay. Henry made the first free throw and while the ball was going through the net, Clayton was shoved by Richmond's Derrick Williams, which caused a deadball technical foul on Williams. Henry made the next three free throws giving the 49ers a 64-63 with four seconds on the clock.
Then, Charlotte got the ball back due to the deadball technical. Henry was fouled near mid-court and the officials said he was in the act of shooting so he was rewarded with three free throws. Richmond's Coach Chris Mooney argued the calls and was issued two technical fouls and ejected from the game. Henry went to the line for seven free throws. He made four free throws during that stretch sealing the win for the 49ers.
In the first half, Charlotte trailed most of the first half including a 31-23 halftime deficit.
In the second half, Richmond pushed their lead to 35-25 with 18:23 on the clock. Then, the 49ers behind the scoring of Terrence Williams, Braswell and Clayton went on a 12-0 run over the next six minutes taking a 37-35 lead when Braswell scored inside with 12:26 on the clock.
Richmond's Darien Brothers scored tying the score for the third time at 37 with 12:12 on the clock.
Clayton scored inside just 30 seconds later giving the 49ers a 39-37 lead. Charlotte pushed their lead to 43-39 when Henry scored on a jumper in the lane with 8:28 on the clock.
Richmond went on a 5-0 run taking a 44-43 lead when Lindsey completed a three-point play with 7:35 on the clock.
Clayton scored inside 22 second later giving the 49ers a one-point lead. Then, Henry scored inside giving the 49ers a 47-44 lead with 5:30 on the clock.
The game was tied a couple of times and the 49ers enjoyed 1-2 point lead several times over the next four minutes.
With the 49ers leading 54-52 with 1:22 on the clock, Richmond's Terry Allen knocked down a three giving Richmond a 55-54 lead.
Richmond took a three-point lead when Lindsey knocked down a jump shot in the lane with 38 seconds on the clock. Then, Richmond's Brothers and Lindsey combined on six free throws made over the next 24 seconds giving Richmond a 63-60 lead with five seconds on the clock. After that Henry would end the game with eight made free throws.
Charlotte advances to the A-10 Tournament Quarterfinals to face 16th-ranked Saint Louis, Friday, March 15 at 12 pm.