Junior Kenric McCants made two free throws with three seconds remaining to lead the University of Arkansas at Monticello men’s basketball team to a 66-65 win over Henderson State on the road Thursday night.
After the Reddies (4-5, 1-2 GAC) took their first lead of the second half with 18 seconds remaining on a layup from Reggie Murphy, McCants was fouled on the way to basket on the other end to set up the game-winning free throws. A desperation three-pointer from HSU’s Deoirvay Johnson at the buzzer was blocked by senior Brandon Wilson to seal the UAM victory.
UAM (5-2, 2-1 GAC) grew its lead to eight points early in the second half on a layup and a free throw from junior Sharif Hudson at the 19:32 mark and again on a layup from senior Brandon Wilson 30 seconds later.
Holding the Reddies scoreless for over four minutes, the Weevils grew theirlead to as much as 12 points at the 14:17 mark on a running jumper in the lane from Harrison.
The Reddies responded with an 8-0 scoring to trim UAM’s lead to four points with 11:35 remaining before McCants put UAM back on the board with 11 minutes remaining to give his team a 55-49 lead. HSU extended that run to 12-2 and trimmed the UAM lead to two points on a dunk on a dunk by Reggie Murphy with just under 10 minutes remaining in regulation.
Murphy added a free throw on the front end of a one-and-one situation to cut UAM’s lead to one point with 8:18 remaining. UAM was 1-for-9 from the field during that run that lasted nearly four minutes. The Reddies forced the second half’s first tie on a free throw from Alioune Mboup with 7:19 left in the game.
UAM responded with a 7-3 scoring run to take a four-point lead with 4:47 remaining before HSU’s Kevin Kozan nailed a three-pointer from the corner to cut UAM’s lead to 64-63 at the 3:46 mark. Both teams were held without a point for the next three minutes before HSU’s Murphy collected a fast break layup off a rebound from a blocked shot to give the Reddies their first lead of the second half at 65-64 with 18 seconds remaining setting up McCants’ final free throws.
The Reddies led for the first 14 minutes of the first half, holding leads as much as six points on two different occasions, including a 20-14 lead with 11:39 remaining in the period on a layup by Ronald Lawson. The Weevils responded with a 6-0 run, all behind the scoring of senior Jared Harrison with a layup and a free-throw and a conventional three-pointer to tie the score at 20-all at the 9:27 mark.
Harrison gave UAM its first lead of the game on a three-pointer with 5:34 remaining in the first half after tying the game less than a minute earlier on another trey. The Weevils held the lead for the final five minutes, stretching that advantage to six points on a layup from junior Kenric McCants in the final seconds of the half to give his team a 42-36 at the break.
Harrison led the Weevils in scoring with 16 points. Wilson and McCants alsoreached double digits with 13 and 12 points, respectively. UAM ended the game shooting 46 percent from the field (26-for-57), 33 percent on three-pointers (6-for-18) and 68 percent on foul shots (8-for-12).
HSU’s Reggie Murphy led all players with a double-double of 22 points and 10 rebounds. The Reddies finished the game shooting 51 percent from the field (26-for-51), 28 percent on three-pointers (5-for-18) and 57 percent on foulshots (8-for-14).
Weather permitting, the Weevils are scheduled to return to the court on Saturday back in Arkadelphia against Ouachita Baptist. Tipoff is set for 4 p.m.