Charlotte 49ers Get Miraculous Win Over Richmond Spiders In First Round Of A-10 Tournament

Geoff Burke-USA Today Sports

To pull a quote from one of my favorite movies, “I can’t believe that just #%&*!? happened!”

Anybody who saw the Charlotte 49ers come away with a 68-63 win over the Richmond Spiders in the first round of the Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament on Thursday can understand the sentiment.

With Charlotte down 63-60 with under a minute remaining, Richmond intentionally fouled Pierria Henry to send the 49ers’ guard to the line for two shots instead of the Spiders giving up a potential game-tying 3-pointer.

Henry sank the first of a 1-and-1 and Richmond had the game basically in-hand when, inexplicably, the Spiders’ Derrick Williams threw Willie Clayton to the ground on the box-out.

The ball was in the cylinder at the time of the push, which, by rule, resulted in a dead-ball technical foul. That meant the 49ers now had two additional foul shots and possession after the fact.

But wait, Henry still had another foul shot from the original foul — swish. Now, who would Charlotte coach Alan Major send to the line to shoot the next two shots? You guessed it, Henry — another two makes.

Now the real hot mess begins.

Richmond had to foul and Henry knew this. As he brought the ball across half court, Henry was met with the most obvious intentional foul but the rub was the fact that Henry wasn’t wrapped up, but hit head-on — giving him a chance to throw-up a shot attempt. By rule, Henry TECHNICALLY was in the act of shooting a three-point attempt and given three free-throw attempts as a result.

Incensed by the ruling of a shooting foul instead of an intentional one, Richmond coach Chris Mooney ran onto the court to protest the call and was ejected after being assessed two techs for his reaction.

Henry sank the three FTs from the shooting foul but missed both from the tech — mercifully intentional or not.

End result: the 49ers face the No.1-seeded Saint Louis Billikens in the next round of the A-1o tournament. As for Richmond … NIT? Maybe?

Mike Gillmeister can be reached at mgillmei@gmail.com, or on Twitter:@mgillmeiRantCBB. Like his Facebook page here for updates on Big 12/A-10 men’s basketball.

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