Paine’s Kedric Taylor calmly toed the free-throw line with one final opportunity to seal a win for the Lions.
Taylor made one free throw with 2 seconds left to give Paine a 68-67 win over LeMoyne-Owen on Thursday at HEAL Complex.
With the game tied at 67, Paine inbounded the ball with 8 seconds left. Taylor received a pass and fought to get off a shot in the closing seconds, resulting in a foul.
The junior point guard missed the first free throw attempt but made the second.
“It was a little nerve-wracking after the first one, but I stuck with it,” Taylor said. “I stayed confident and it went down.”
He finished with a game-high 21 points and six assists.
“He played like a captain,” Paine coach Jimmy Link said. “He has played well the past two games. He gave us what we needed tonight.”
Sean Morgan added 16 points for the Lions, who won their second in a row after losing four consecutive contests.
Paine (6-6, 2-1 Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) jumped to a 10-4 lead and held the advantage throughout the first half. Efficient shooting (50 percent from the field) helped push the Lions’ lead as large as 11.
LeMoyne-Owen (3-7, 1-2) bounced back by shooting 57 percent in the second half and led by as many as six with 8:35 to go.
After two free throws, Paine got the ball back on a turnover with 32 seconds left and kept it for the next 30. LeMoyne-Owen attempted a halfcourt shot as time expired, but it fell short.
“Free throws definitely made a difference in the game, and we limited turnovers,” Link said. “They got off to a quick run in the second half, but we stayed with them.”