BROOKLYN, N.Y. — Trailing Richmond by three points with 4.7 seconds remaining in the first round of the Atlantic 10 tournament Thursday, the Charlotte 49ers needed something unlikely to happen if they were to win.
"Unlikely" is what happened.
The 49ers, taking advantage of three technical fouls by the Spiders in those final seconds and some dead-eye free-throw shooting by point guard Pierria Henry, came away with a 68-63 victory against Richmond at Brooklyn's Barclays Center.
The 49ers rallied from a 10-point deficit in the second half, but had apparently come up short after the Spiders took a 63-60 lead with 5.9 seconds left on a pair of free throws by guard Cedrick Lindsay.
Before he could get off a potential game-tying 3-pointer, Henry, who would end up with a career-high 28 points, was fouled with 4.7 seconds left.
He made the first free throw, cutting the lead to 63-61. But as the ball went through the net, Richmond forward Derrick Williams inexplicably threw Charlotte forward Willie Clayton to the floor.
Williams was called for a dead-ball technical. So, after taking and making his second free throw, Henry made the two technicals, giving the 49ers a 64-63 lead and the ball.
Henry received the inbounds pass at midcourt, and while anticipating being fouled by Richmond, threw up a shot. The Spiders' Greg Robbins was whistled for the foul, a call protested vehemently by Richmond coach Chris Mooney, who was called for two technicals and ejected.
So, with 2.8 seconds left, Henry went back to the line, where he stayed for a while longer. He would shoot seven more free throws and make four.