POINT LOOKOUT, Mo. -- University of Saint Francis freshman Spencer Comer dropped in two free throws like he was just shootin' in his driveway back in Rushville with three seconds to play lifting the Cougars to a heart-stopping 64-63 upset win over NAIA Top 25 No. 9 Jamestown College in the NAIA National Championship on early Thursday afternoon.
Byron Jones scored on a running jumper that he banked off the glass for a 63-62 lead with three seconds to play. Referees had to determine how much time should be left on the clock and in the time it took them to determine the correct time, USF Head Coach Chad LaCross with a suggestion from assistant Gay Martin suggested the baseline play that enabled Comer to draw a foul off a screen.
Comer stepped to the line and calmly spalshed in the first free throw to tie the game at 63. He mimicked his first free throw giving USF the one point lead.
JC (25-7) inbounded the ball to Jones who raced upcourt with Q Owens providing defensive pressure. Jones got off a 33-foot 3-point attempt before the final buzzer but the shot was close but off target and the Cougars (22-12) has survived.
What a way to get your 50th career win coach LaCross.
"We got an early Christmas present," a serious LaCross said after watching his Cougars stumble on chances earlier in the second half to put the game away at the free-throw line. "Thankfully, we got the call, we pulled together as a team and I'm proud of the way we found a way to get the win."
USF connected on 18-of-26 free-throw attempts in the second half, a .692 percentage. JC shot .588 on 10-for-17 from the line. For the game, the Cougars hit 23-of-34 free throws (.676) while JC hit 12-of-21 free throws (.571). USF came into the game No. 7 in NAIA DII free-throw shooting percentage at .741.
While Comer scored the most important points of the game for USF, Scott Kohne finished with his fourth double-double this season -- 18 points and 11 rebounds. Kohne scored 10 points in the second half helping the Cougars open up a 60-48 lead with 3:11 to play over JC, which was seeded No. 10. Owens scored 16 points, but struggled at the free-line hitting 6-of-12. It was, however, his 43rd double figure game tying him for No. 3 on the USF list with DeJovaun Sawyer-Davis. He is also No. 2 on the single season list with 34 this season.
JC had won 24 of its last 27 games, but the Cougars held leading scorer Travis Burley (15.5 ppg) to four points and Burley had four fouls. Mark Hoge led JC with 17 points, Jones finished with 16 and Davon Thomas scored 12.
USF led 29-20 at halftime.
The Cougars tangle with No. 7 Bellevue University (Neb.) on Friday at 1 p.m. Fort Wayne time.
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