Once unbeaten at 5-0, Charleston has suddenly found itself slapped in the face with adversity.
After falling to Blytheville, Ark., Friday night in the championship game of the Sikeston Invitational tournament, the Bluejays suffered a 64-62 buzzer-
beating, overtime loss to Red Bud, Ill., the next day in the fourth game of the second annual Heartland Hoopfest at the Perry Park Center.
"I knew Red Bud would be tough and that they had a good history in basketball," Farmer said. "We expected a good game. It's kind of hard to get the kids up for the game, especially after a loss. The effort was there and that's all I'm concerned about right now."
Charleston was playing without starters Shawn Sherrell and Josh Thompson, who broke his fibia in the Blytheville game.
With Southeast Missouri State assistant coach and former Bluejay product Ronnie Dean scouting from press row prior to the Redhawks OVC game against Tennessee State later that night, Charleston found itself in, arguably, the best game of the day from start to finish.
The tired Bluejays allowed a seven-point, third-quarter lead to evaporate and was forced to play an overtime period. The Musketeers sank seven 3-pointers in the game to stay in the victory hunt.
"That was the difference in the game," Farmer said. "We're up seven, but we let up. We should have kept that lead."
Charleston's Justin Clark's layup tied the game at 62 with just under two minutes left in overtime. The Musketeers then would miss four foul shots in the final minute.
The score remained the same as time wound down, but Red Bud's Aaron Deterding rebounded a missed shot attempt and put up a reverse layup that bounced high off the top of the rim. The buzzer sounded as the ball fell straight through the hoop, sending the Musketeers celebrating under the basket.
"The way we lost was more tough than anything--on a putback, you know," Farmer said. "That was devastating because you should box out all the time and we didn't. That was a mental mistake right there. That's a learning experience and we'll do just that."
Trailing 56-54 with 38 seconds remaining in regulation, Charleston's Jamarcus Williams sank both free throws to tie it.
Antonio Riggens managed to steal the ball on the ensuing play with six seconds to go, but the Musketeers knocked the ball out of bounds as he headed for the easy layup.
After a timeout, Charleston got two shots at the basket, but neither attempt went in as the buzzer sounded for overtime.
Charleston jumped out to a 10-2 lead early, but only led 16-12 after one quarter of play and 28-22 at halftime. They led 43-38 heading into the fourth quarter.
"We're going to be o.k.," Farmer said. "The way we see it, we have two starters out and lose like that, we're going to be all right. When you're down a junior point guard and now you have a freshman running the point for you, you know he's got a long way to go. We're learning all over again."
Williams finished with a game-high 22 points, while Clark added 20 points and Jerrell Quinn had 12.
Red Bud's Bryant Porter sank three treys on his way to 15 points, while Deterding also had 15 points and Brandon Kunkel 11.
The Bluejays visit Meridian, Ill. on Tuesday at 6 p.m.