Schumacher's late free throws lift Crusaders
Saturday, February 17, 2007
Schumacher's late free throws lift Crusaders
P.J. Schumacher hit two free throws with 0.8 seconds remaining to lift NGU

MARS HILL, NC - P.J. Schumacher was fouled and sank both ends of a 1-and-1 with 0.8 seconds left in regulation to lift North Greenville University past Mars Hill College 74-73 in men's basketball action in Stanford Arena Saturday afternoon. MHC fell to 8-17 on the season while the Crusaders improved to 14-12 on the year.

The first half was closely played until the final eight minutes of the period. Jordan Richmond gave NGU a 25-24 lead with 7:55 on the clock and then MHC went on a 24-to-13 run to close out the first stanza and take a 10-point lead (49-39) into the locker room at the intermission. The teams combined to hit 19 three-pointers in the first half.

MHC scored first in the second frame with 18:24 on the clock after Chris Aline (Reinach, Switzerland) hit a layup and go ahead by 12 points, their biggest lead of the game. NGU then out scored the Lions 16-to-3 over the next six minutes to take 55-54 advantage with 12:24 left in the contest after Adam Griggs hit a layup. Neither team led by more than three points after that point.

After Stoney Polite (Morganton, NC) hit a pair of foul shots with 2:29 on the clock to give the Lions a 70-67 lead, Richmond nailed a shot from behind the arc on the Crusaders next possession to tie the contest at 70-all at the 2:18 mark. After two missed long range attempts, a missed layup and the same number of offensive boards, Tony Blake (Canton, NC) found Polite for an open 3-pointer which he sank to give MHC a 73-70 lead with just 35 seconds left in regulation. After not being able to find an open 3-point attempt, NGU settled for a layup by Nipper with nine seconds left. Having only four team fouls, NGU was forced to foul quickly on two occasions to set up a 1-and1 by the Lions. After the Crusaders put the Lions in the bonus, MHC turned the ball over on the in-bounds pass with four seconds left to give the ball back to NGU that led to Schumacher's game-winning shots at the charity stripe.

Schumacher led NGU with 23 points hitting six 3-pointers. He added five rebounds and four assists. Amonza Gantt recorded a double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds while Richmond scored 17 in the win. NGU out rebounded MHC, 40-to-35.

Polite led MHC with 25 points followed by Jamison McIver (Taylorsville, NC) with 15 and P.J. Gore (Little River, SC) with 13. Aline scored six points and pulled down 11 rebounds.

North Greenville will be back in action Tuesday night as Lincoln Memorial visits Hayes Gymnasium. NGU's seniors will be honored as they are playing their final home game. Tip-off is 7:00 p.m.