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March 14, 2013

Late rally stuns Spiders

Richmond Post Game Audio

Major, Braswell & Henry Audio

No. 8 Richmond No. 9 Charlotte BOX SCORE

BROOKLYN, N.Y. - The Charlotte 49ers pulled off a miraculous 68-63 win versus the Richmond Spiders Thursday afternoon to kick off the Atlantic 10 Tournament in the Barclays Center. Down by three points, with 4.7 seconds left in the game, the 49ers (21-10) did their best to hold composure, while the Spiders (18-14) did anything but.

Spider fan's left the Barclay's Center bewildered following their team's collapse, but perhaps not as fuming as Spiders' Head Coach, Chris Mooney. After intentionally sending Pierria Henry to the line to prevent a game tying three-point shot, Spiders forward Derrick Williams received a technical foul for shoving Willie Clayton to the ground after Henry's first free throw was converted; making it a dead-ball technical.

After Henry made the next three-free throws via William's gaff (Charlotte, 64-63), the Spider's Greg Robbins was called for a shooting foul on Henry, awarding him three more free throws. Succeeding that, Mooney received a double technical, and was ejected from the contest.

With two seconds remaining on the clock, Henry stepped to the line again, draining four more shots from the charity stripe putting the game out of reach. There are mixed-reviews of the late occurrences in the A-10's first game excitement. Whether Williams deserved the Spiders' first technical is arguable, the mental breakdown by Coach Mooney is not so much up to interpretation.

"I was upset and probably too upset. So, again, I apologize." Reflecting on the result, Moony continued, "I wish it wouldn't have happened like that. I can't take it back right now, but I certainly wish I could, and I wish the whole last four and a half seconds would have been a little bit different."

Henry seems to be the 49ers go-to guy as of late, his impressive performances to wrap up the regular season pale in comparison to the 28 points, 12 rebounds, and 4 assists on Thursday. Not to mention bringing the team back and securing the win, making 8-of-11 free throws.

Henry had plenty of help that cannot be ignored; Chris Braswell (12pts, 5 rebounds) was in inspired form late in the game, converting clutch baskets multiple times. Along with Henry, freshman forward Willie Clayton continued his run of form with 18 points and 6 rebounds.

The team's continuity is something Head Coach Alan Major has stressed to the media all year; this result being the perfect embodiment of his emphasis on his team's family environment. From a little over the two-minute mark, until just five seconds remaining, Charlotte had four player foul-out of the game (Denzel Ingram, Terrence Williams, E. Victor Nickerson, and Chris Braswell).

Speaking about the team's composure, Henry said, "This team has been through so much this year. It's like the fight that we had, the chemistry, the family bond. It's amazing that no matter what, we know that we're going to stick with each other through thick and thin."

The standout for Richmond this time was not Darien Brothers, who set a career high in points against Charlotte earlier in the season, with 39. His shooting hand was stitched up after cutting it in the Spider's regular season finale. His backcourt mate, Cedrick Lindsay was the team's standout with 19 points, and if it weren't for his early foul trouble he might have had more. Also having a great game was freshman forward, Terry Allen (14 pts, 9 rebounds).

Next on the Charlotte 49ers plate is the Saint Louis Billikens, another team, just like Richmond, that beat Charlotte earlier in the regular season. The No. 1 seeded Billikens (21-6) face off against the 49ers 12 pm, on March 15.

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