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Charlotte makes eight free throws in final 4.7 seconds, stuns Richmond in A-10 tourney

Mar 14, 2013, 2:53 PM EDT

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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

  1. pens5829 - Mar 14, 2013 at 3:34 PM

    Man what a shame? The guys wearing the stripes should be stripped of their uni’s after making those calls and never be allowed on a court again. Let the damn kids decide the game!!!

    • florida727 - Mar 14, 2013 at 3:50 PM

      Agreed. Just watched the replay of what took place on ESPN and the referees screwed up. Would Charlotte have won the game anyway? Maybe. But they certainly wouldn’t have shot EIGHT freaking free throws within 4.7 seconds of clock time. Sometimes the referees must think people come to watch them run up and down the court. They need to learn there place in the game. Most have. It’s the scant few that screw up the reputation of referees.

      I have a friend who won the Naismith award some time back as the best referees in women’s college basketball. He said the best compliment he ever got was when Pat Summitt told him after a game she didn’t even notice him on the court. That’s when a ref knows he’s done a good job.

      • myopinionisrighterthanyours - Mar 14, 2013 at 4:01 PM

        Tell me how in the world you come to the conclussion the refs screwed it up? The guy is held for the 1 and 1 (which I think more teams should do). On the rebound, the guy is flat out shoved to the GROUND. That is some type of foul. It may not be a technical, but it is a FOUL. Yeesh. And the T’s on the coach were proper, as was the call of being fouled on a three point attempt.

      • florida727 - Mar 15, 2013 at 9:26 AM

        Same (or similar) crap happens on EVERY free throw. Foul? Yeah, I have no problem with that. TECHNICAL? No way. Now you give them free throws AND possession? No wonder the coach blew up. The extent of the call is where they screwed up. Obviously you’ve never called a game at that level.

      • mogogo1 - Mar 15, 2013 at 10:14 AM

        Same (or similar) crap happens on EVERY free throw. Foul? Yeah, I have no problem with that. TECHNICAL?

        Guys get shoved to the ground at the front end of every one-and-one? Uh…no they don’t. And by rule it’s a tech because that’s a dead ball situation. Watch the replay…the ball is all the way through the basket before the final shove that sends the guy to the ground. Totally blatant and called correctly

    • fukpittsburgh - Mar 14, 2013 at 5:18 PM

      C’mon dude. Even the cheerleaders were calling for a technical foul. Blatant.

      • pens5829 - Mar 14, 2013 at 9:31 PM

        And it looked like a cheerleader call too. Go back to watching grade schoolers play basketball.

  2. myopinionisrighterthanyours - Mar 14, 2013 at 3:50 PM

    Yeah, the refs should absolutely be FIRED over making the proper calls. Please! Watch the video above. The only thing questionable in the sequence was if that was a tech on the rebound or some other type of foul, either a straight personal or a flagrant 1. I’m all for letting the kids decide the game, but the fouls were fouls. And the second time he was fouled on the shot. And the coach cannot blow a gasket like that.

  3. massivedick - Mar 14, 2013 at 4:41 PM

    seriously? you guy must be f’n moron’s. let a guy get away with pushing someone what because its the end of the game, thats bull$it. then the coach goes mental. refs called the game correct. does not matter when it happens it needs to get called. blame the idiots williams and mooney not the refs.

    • pens5829 - Mar 14, 2013 at 9:40 PM

      You obviously missed the WWF headlock? Nice screen name. Sounds like an ego problem?

  4. thejjtrain - Mar 14, 2013 at 4:41 PM

    As someone who was watching it live, and has a disdain for bad refereeing, I did not find any fault in how it ended. Is it a way you want any game to end, no, but the refs didnt step out of their box, purposefully or ignorantly, to make bad calls. They got together and talked about the shove for over a minute. The refs followed the rules. Now whether they will be allowed to referee more postseason games is yet to be seen.

  5. buckeye044 - Mar 14, 2013 at 4:43 PM

    The way that dude flopped you’d think he played for IU.

  6. stanmrak - Mar 14, 2013 at 4:56 PM

    Fouls are really ruining the last minute of any close game, especially those ‘intentional’ fouls that don’t get called, even tho we know they’re intentional. What other sport offers a potential reward for committing a foul like basketball does? NONE. A foul is supposed to penalize you with no opportunity for redemption, period!

    This would be easy to remedy… every non-shooting foul committed by the trailing team (the ones used to force free throws and get the ball back) in the last minute should be one free throw and ball back to the fouled (leading) team. End of intentional fouls!

    • borderline1988 - Mar 15, 2013 at 1:07 AM

      There’s one problem with that…when a team is up by one and has the ball with 24 seconds left, the opposing team can’t get the ball back unless they steal it. I don’t like the concept of a team just passing the ball around and wasting out the final 24 seconds in a one-point game.

      • stanmrak - Mar 15, 2013 at 11:55 AM

        Yeah, they would actually have to play ‘defense’ and steal the ball. That’s the way basketball is intended to be played!!! — not by tackling opposing players deliberately. It’s also the way every game is played for the first 39 minutes. If you want the ball back, you play defense.

        It’s also not that easy to hold the ball for 24 seconds under intense defensive pressure. Before the shot clock, teams who tried to play ‘four-corners’ to close out a game had it backfire about half the time.

  7. elvoid - Mar 14, 2013 at 6:53 PM

    Complete, utter and total breakdown in discipline by Williams and by Mooney. Inexcusable on all levels. Refs called it right – it was ugly for sure, and they called it like it was – ugly.

  8. modorator - Mar 14, 2013 at 7:38 PM

    This was poor officaiting to end what looked like a great game. The first technical was a bad call. There was no extension of the arm and a big shove to justify a technical. The ref should have called a foul and let the guy shoot another 1 and 1. The foul on the inbound was before the shot the coach had a right to get upset. It was another bad called and sealed his teams fate. If the official wanted to call an intentional foul. Officials don’t call enough flagrant and intentional fouls.

  9. bloodisred - Mar 14, 2013 at 9:27 PM

    Missed call – Clayton grabbed Williams by the head. THIS is why he (Williams) pushed him away. Don’t get me wrong, he (WIlliams) has to understand the situation and react accordingly but c’mon, for all you folks saying “watch the video” I say, watch the video! The refs missed that one … at most it should have been a double foul.

    Now Coach? What the H?!?

    • pens5829 - Mar 14, 2013 at 9:47 PM

      I didn’t watch the game, and to be honest, really don’t give two sh#ts about either school. Saw the highlights and just hate seeing refs be a factor in a close, and what looked to be an exciting game.

      Bloodisred. You are exactly right on what should have been called! Double foul. No technical. Agreed the kid reacted wrong, but the ref obviously wasn’t paying attention and missed the headlock. Way out of line trying to make a name for himself and be part of the game. Hopefully he doesn’t get an opportunity to impact a game in the tourney?

  10. borderline1988 - Mar 15, 2013 at 1:12 AM

    The refs did screw up; Williams didn’t deserve the technical. That’s what changed this game…giving them an extra FT and the ball is what won them the game. At worst Richmond would have been down 1 with the ball and a chance to tie/win the game.

    It’s true that all those extra fouls on the coach and the shooting foul was legit. But that all happened after Charlotte is handed the lead and the ball.
    And Clayton flopped. But that’s another story.

  11. mungman69 - Mar 15, 2013 at 2:50 AM

    The refs got it right. They didn’t have slow motion replay and they still got it right. Read the rulebook.

    • bloodisred - Mar 15, 2013 at 4:51 AM

      Ok, let’s do it this way: Foul on Clayton for the headlock, dead ball foul on Williams. MIssed call.

  12. longtallsam - Mar 15, 2013 at 10:14 AM

    I have replayed this several times. I don’t see a headlock some of you guys are claiming! He could have been called for “over the back”, because he did have his arm over & on the shoulder. But I see no problem with the T for the blatant shove. And you guys always yakking about “flopping”! Only the player in question really knows if he flopped!

    • mogogo1 - Mar 15, 2013 at 10:23 AM

      There is no “headlock”. Just two guys fighting for position. If the final shove doesn’t happen, they don’t call any foul at all. But the final shove was totally unnecessary, blatant, and clearly came after the free throw had been made, which is why by rule it was technical and not a normal foul.

      Just a really dumb play by Williams at the most crucial point of the game. And while it is understandable the coach would be upset, his total meltdown getting TWO technicals and being ejected cannot be justified. Find a coach with no composure and you’ll find players who can’t control themselves. That explains it all in this case.

      • bloodisred - Mar 15, 2013 at 11:44 AM

        Headlock, cuff, whatever…it’s definitely there. You see two things immediately after the shove (which we all agree was out of place) and the whistle: 1. Clayton grinning and clapping because he knows he just goaded Williams into a reaction and 2. Williams demonstrating the head cuff that precipitated the shove.
        Again, there hasn’t been one person here, and certainly not me (a HS Coach), that condones Williams’ retaliatory action however, the failure of posters here to acknowledge the activity around the head is laughable.

      • mogogo1 - Mar 15, 2013 at 4:10 PM

        So, as a high school coach, you’d be perfectly fine if Clayton were your player and he got called for a foul for that? Please… You’d be going nuts because that’s nothing more than a plain vanilla battle to box out. Neither guy does anything foul-worthy until that final shove. You can even see from the refs body language he’s just stunned the guy did that.

      • bloodisred - Mar 15, 2013 at 10:31 PM

        mogogo1 – Mar 15, 2013 at 4:10 PM
        So, as a high school coach, you’d be perfectly fine if Clayton were your player and he got called for a foul for that? Please… You’d be going nuts because that’s nothing more than a plain vanilla battle to box out. Neither guy does anything foul-worthy until that final shove. You can even see from the refs body language he’s just stunned the guy did that.

        You’re kidding right? There was nothing plain or vanilla about it. It was a bush league play that should have been whistled and regardless of whether or not the foul were called, he’d receive a ear full.

        On the officials: the lead official did a good job of obtaining an angle to observe the paint, I have no beef with him. The C and/or the T however can’t be excused because they’re positioned to catch out-angled things (like over the back). One of them should have seen the grab.

        We agree on everything else: the push and the coach’s meltdown were definitely outside the box (especially in that situation) but we’re clearly viewing the video differently (and I’ve seen other angles). No worries though … good to have civil discussion.

  13. longtallsam - Mar 15, 2013 at 10:17 AM

    One other thing…get over the bullcrap of “let the players decide the game”. The game should be called exactly the same in the final minute, as in the rest of the game.

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