Richmond was up 63-60 on Charlotte in the first round of the Atlantic 10 conference tournament Thursday at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, and they were called for three technical fouls in the final 5.9 seconds of the game, which gave Charlotte 11 free throw attempts and a 68-63 victory.
With his team up by three, only 5.9 seconds remaining, and the 49ers in the single bonus, Richmond coach Chris Mooney instructed his team to foul Charlotte’s Pierria Henry after an inbounds pass. Henry made the first free throw of a one-and-one to give himself a chance for a second attempt. But after his first attempt, Richmond’s Derrick Williams was called for a technical foul for pushing Charlotte’s Willie Clayton. The technical foul called on Richmond gave Henry two more free throws for a total of four, and it gave Charlotte the ball after the free throws. He made all four free throws to put his team up 64-63 with 4.7 seconds left.
Things continued to get crazy for Richmond. Charlotte passed the ball to Henry on the inbound and Richmond decided to foul once again. The referees determined that Henry was in the act of shooting when he was fouled, so they gave him three more free throws. The officials’ decision caused Mooney to lose his mind. He was called for two technical fouls and ejected from the game. That gave Henry seven free throws — three for the foul while he was attempting a 3-pointer, and two for each technical foul on Mooney. Henry made four of seven attempts, putting Charlotte up 68-63, which was the final score.
Henry made 8-of-11 free throws in the finals 2.1 seconds of the game to finish with a season-high 28 points.
“I am shocked. I don’t think we played great, but we did do some things real well. It’s a pretty devastating way to lose the game,” Mooney said afterward. ”I was upset. Probably too upset. I can’t take it back right now. I certainly wish I could.”