NEW YORK – Charlotte’s Pierria Henry hit eight foul shots in the games final 4.7 seconds to knock off Richmond 68-63 in the Atlantic-10 tournament.
Yes, you read that correctly. Eight foul shots in 4.7 seconds.
The Richmond Spiders led by three with 5.9 seconds left when they purposely fouled Pierria Henry, forcing him to making his foul shots instead of potentially sending the game into overtime with a 3-pointer.
But what happened next changed the entire complexion of the game.
After Henry made the front-end of a 1-and-1, Richmond’s Derrick Williams shoved Charlotte’s Willie Clayton to the ground while attempting to box out. The referees issued Williams a technical foul and Henry would be given two additional shots and the ball on top of the one he still had left to take. Henry made all three to put the 49ers up by one. On the ensuing possession, Henry was once again fouled by Richmond but not before he attempted to get a shot off. Richmond coach Chris Mooney was irate and was issued a technical foul for his efforts. He then tore off his jacket and was given his second technical foul and was ejected from the game.
“I am shocked. I don’t think we played great, but we did do some things real well. It’s a pretty devastating way to lose the game,” Mooney said afterward. “I was upset. Probably too upset. I can’t take it back right now. I certainly wish I could.”
Charlotte head coach Alan Major was just as shocked. “you couldn’t make that up if you want to make a movie out of that one. But, you know, we just talked to our guys about always making sure you keep your poise.”
Henry kept his poise and made 5-of-7 free throws to put the game on ice.
According to Matt Norlander of CBS Sports’ Eye on College Basketball, the referees released an official statement following the game regarding the initial technical foul which sent the game into a tailspin:
With 4.2 seconds remaining during the first free throw by Charlotte #15 (Henry), Richmond #34 (Williams) pushed Charlotte #21 (Clayton) to the floor after the free throw was made. By rule—deadball contact technical by “by Richmond #34 (Williams)—two shots and the ball at half court. Charlotte #15 (Henry) shot the remainder of his free throw (one shot). Any player can shoot the technical. The ball is then put in play at half court.
In the final 4.7 seconds of the game Henry went 8-for-11 from the free throw line. This was, in short, one of the most bizarre and unexpected finishes to a basketball game we’ve seen all season.
You can contact Troy Machir on Twitter at @TroyMachir