Sarah Olin, Sports Editor
Armstrong Pirates men’s basketball squad continued their streak with a game winning three-point buzzer beater to take down the UNC Pembroke BraveHawks 87-84 Saturday, extending their record to 9-11 overall and 4-7 in the Peach Belt Conference.
Both teams kept the playing field level at 23 with seven minutes remaining in the first. The BraveHawks made seven of eight free throws and drained a three-point jump shot while keeping the Pirates scoreless for four minutes to take the lead at 23-33.
UNC Pembroke kept the lead going into the half at 31-39. Both teams started strong beginning the second half, but the BraveHawks kept their rough ten point lead for the first twelve minutes.
With 6:38 minutes remaining in the game, junior KJ James sunk a three-pointer to close the gap to 65-73. With help from freshman Kalen Clifton making both his free throws and Corey Tillery hitting a three pointer, UNC Pembroke lead by four.
Armstrong called for a 30-second timeout with 2:04 minutes remaining and trailing by five. UNC Pembroke countered with a 20-second timeout without letting the clock start again. BraveHawk senior Mike Smith’s free throw immediately following their own timeout would be the last point UNC Pembroke made for the rest of the game.
Clifton made one of two free throws to make the game 79-84 and junior Denzel Council followed with a tip in after he made the offensive rebound. Clifton went two-for-two three-pointers — first tieing the game at 84 then draining a three point jump shot with one seconds left in the game to secure the win for the Pirates.
The Pirates return to the court to face off for the second time against USC Aiken at the Convocation Center in Aiken, South Carolina on Monday January 6th at 7:30PM.