RALEIGH, N.C. (Jan. 6) – Kenneth Collins (Sr./Clayton, NC) and Kasey Bryant (Sr./Raleigh, NC) combined to hit four straight free throws in the final 17 seconds to help Saint Augustine’s University stave off a late Lincoln (Pa.) University rally in a 60-53 CIAA men’s basketball victory Saturday at Rivero Hall in Lincoln University, Pa.
The victory was the fifth in six games for the Falcons, who are 4-1 in the CIAA and 7-9 overall. They continue to lead the CIAA Southern Division.
Collins scored 16 points off the bench on 4 of 7 three-point shooting and Quincy January (Sr./Atlanta, GA) added 10 points and 14 rebounds for his 46th career double-double. Bryant chipped in nine points while D.J. Harrison (So./Winston-Salem, NC) and Rashad George (R-Fr./Raleigh, NC) totaled six rebounds and five rebounds, respectively, for the Falcons, who were 5 of 7 for 71 percent from the free throw line in the second half.
The Falcons needed each free throw to hold off the Lions, who chopped a 15-point second-half lead to four with 17 seconds remaining. But Bryant, an 82.1 percent free throw shooter, canned two free throws for a 58-52 lead.
After the Lions made 1 of 3 free throws for a 58-53 score, Collins swished two free throws with four seconds left to ice the game. Collins is an 85.7 percent free throw shooter.
Clutch free throws keyed the Falcons to victory while the Lions struggled at the charity stripe, making 16 of 30 for 53.3 percent. The Falcons shot 40.4 percent from the floor while holding the Lions to 33.3 percent shooting. The Falcons have held opponents to under 40 percent shooting in the last six games.
Elijah Bush had 22 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks for the Lions (2-3 CIAA, 7-8 overall). Gevon Arrington added 12 points and Deaquan Williams pulled down 10 rebounds.
The Falcons, who trailed only once, shot 51.7 percent in a high-scoring first half to build a 37-29 halftime lead. The Lions shot 45.5 percent in the opening half.
Both teams were frigid like the weather outside Rivero Hall in the second half. They both shot under 30 percent from the floor but the Falcons put together a 13-6 run, including seven straight points capped by Harrison’s layup, for a 50-35 lead with 12:06 left. The Lions chipped away at the Falcons’ lead but free throws proved to be the difference for the visitors.
On Thursday, Jan. 4, the Falcons missed several free throws late in an overtime loss to Bowie State University. The Falcons bounced back on Saturday by making crucial free throws down the stretch.
The Falcons visit Virginia Union University on Monday, Jan. 8, for their third CIAA road game in five days. Tipoff is 7:30 p.m. in Richmond, Va.