New York • Pierria Henry felt as though he stood on the foul line for half an hour.
Officially, under two seconds ticked off the game clock as the Charlotte guard hit eight free throws in the final moments of a wild start to the Atlantic 10 tournament in its new home at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. The 49ers stunned Richmond 68-63 on Thursday when the Spiders were called for three technical fouls in the last five seconds.
Richmond led 63-60 with 4.7 seconds to go, then watched helplessly as Henry drained shot after shot from the line.
"You couldn’t make that up if you want to make a movie out of that one," Charlotte coach Alan Major said.
It all started when the Spiders chose to foul the 49ers to prevent Charlotte from attempting a tying 3-pointer. As Henry’s free throw swished through the net on the front end of a one-and-one, Richmond’s Derrick Williams and the 49ers’ Willie Clayton became entangled setting up for a potential rebound.
Williams shoved Clayton to the floor, and drew a whistle. Reggie Greenwood, the conference coordinator of officials, said afterward that because the play happened during a dead ball, by rule the foul was a technical.
Instead of needing to intentionally miss the second free throw to hope for a tip to tie the game, the 49ers found themselves with three more foul shots — plus possession — to try to take the lead. Henry made the second end of the one-and-one, then both his attempts for the technical bounced around the rim and in to give Charlotte a 64-63 lead.
Richmond had to foul, and when Henry forced up a shot from near midcourt as he was being grabbed, the referees awarded him three free throws. Mooney was then called for two technicals and ejected.
Big East Tournament
No. 24 Notre Dame 73, No. 12 Marquette 65 • At New York, Pat Connaughton scored 18 points on six 3-pointers and Jack Cooley had two big offensive rebounds in Notre Dame’s game-changing run as the Fighting Irish beat Marquette to reach the Big East semis.
No. 19 Syracuse 62, No. 17 Pittsburgh 59 • James Southerland and Michael Carter-Williams kept Syracuse’s run at one more title going as the Orange beat Pittsburgh. Both schools are leaving for the ACC next season.
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