CHARLESTON -- A Trentez Lane free throw with nine tenths of a second left in the game lifted the Charleston Bluejays to their seventh victory of the season with no losses. The final score was 50-49 over the scrappy Caruthersville Tigers.
In the opening frame the two teams started very slowly. The Bluejays managed 10 points with Joshua Strayhorn's five leading the way. The Tigers' Kyle Hubbard scored seven of the Tigers' nine points and the 'Jays led by a 10-9 score after one period.
Ashton Farmer ignited the Charleston fans with a slam dunk early in the second period and sank a 3-pointer and it looked as if the favored Bluejays would open a big lead, but the Tigers had other ideas.
The Tiger guard tandem of Chad Benson and Marshane Foreman started to aggressively take it to the hole and netted 11 of Caruthersville's 15 second quarter points to trail by only two at the intermission 26-24.
The third quarter proved to be the most productive for Charleston when all five starters scored. However, there was an emerging problem for Charleston.
The Bluejays made 10 trips to the free throw line and canned only three, but were able to tally 17 points while Caruthersville scored only 11. That left the score 43-35 after three quarters and set the stage for a wild final quarter.
Six minutes elapsed in the fourth quarter and the Bluejays had netted only one basket and had missed three one and one free throw attempts while Caruthersville slowly chipped away at the lead.
Foreman eventually managed to knot the score with 9.5 seconds left in the contest with a traditional 3-point play.
From there Charleston inbounded the ball and Trentez Lane took the ball aggressively to the basket and was fouled. Lane calmly stepped to the line and sank the free throw, effectively giving the Bluejays the win.
With less than a second left, Caruthersville managed to get a shot away, but the ball hit high off the backboard and wouldn't go.
"We didn't play very well. We missed a ton of free throws and we had every opportunity to make the score a lot larger than the way it ended up. We were lucky to come away with a win, but it's good that you can play like that and still win the game,'' said Charleston head coach Danny Farmer.
Charleston's next contest will be December 26th in the seMissourian Christman tournament against Chaffee at 9 a.m.