CHARLESTON, S.C. (Nov. 16, 2008) - Hofstra sophomore guard Charles Jenkins scored 31 points, including the go-ahead free throw with 1.1 seconds left in the game to give Hofstra a 76-75 win over ETSU in the final round of the Charleston Classic Sunday afternoon inside the Carolina First Arena.
The young and inexperienced Buccaneers (1-2), playing four freshmen and two other upper classmen with limited past game experience, were dismal in their clock management late in the game, relinquishing a 75-71 lead in the final 2:39. After a jumper by senior guard Courtney Pigram (Memphis) missed the mark and senior forward Kevin Tiggs (Flint, Mich.) followed with an offensive rebound and miss with only 31 seconds left, the Pride (2-1) got a final opportunity and Jenkins was fouled driving to the basket with just over a second left.
He made the first free throw and then intentionally missed his second, forcing junior Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) to fire a long desperation shot as the clock expired.
"Our inexperience showed late in this game," said ETSU head coach Murry Bartow. "We didn't manage things well, and we couldn't get any defensive stops, which is something we were much better at in yesterday's win (over SIU Edwardsville). We're not going to panic over this one game, but wins are hard to come by and we felt like this is one we had."
Jenkins led all scorers and was joined by teammates Cornelius Vines and Tony Dennison in double figures, with Vines netting 16 and Dennison 13. Meanwhile, ETSU's Smith continued his solid play with a team-high 20, while Pigram finished with 19 and Tiggs added 18.
In the first half, both teams had a back-and-forth battle with each team holding leads of as much as five points. Near the end of the half, Hofstra built an eight-point lead at 44-36 with just nine seconds left before the intermission. However, from there Pigram was fouled and hit a pair of free throws with three seconds left, and then he stole the in-bounds pass and scored on a layup as time expired to make it 44-40 at the break.
The second half began with the Bucs going on an 11-4 run to take a 51-48 lead with 17:07 remaining in the game. ETSU then produced a small offensive spurt capped by a 15-foot jump shot from 6-11 Seth Coy (Montgomery, Ind.) made it a five-point game with just over eight minutes left in the game. The Bucs held the lead the rest of the way until Hofstra tied it on a jumper by Jenkins with 47 seconds left tied the game.
For the game, the Bucs only turned the ball over 12 times and hung with a physical Hofstra team on the boards, only being out-rebounded 36-32. Hofstra shot 49 percent from the field and overcame 18 turnovers to still pick up the win.
The Bucs return to Johnson City to play their regular season home opener Thursday evening against Wingate. Tip is set for 7 p.m. For more on ETSU men's basketball, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men's basketball link.