Three free throws by Brandon Caporale with just 3 seconds left in the game rallied the Seminole State College Trojans to a 73-71 victory Thursday night over the Northeastern A&M Golden Norsemen in the NEO Fieldhouse.
Coach Dustin Grover's Norsemen carry the 7th seed into Monday's 7 p.m. opening round of the Men's Division I Region II Tournament in the NEO Fieldhouse. The Norse (12-18) face 10th seed Carl Albert State College (5-23) with the winner advancing to Friday's quarterfinal round in the Noble Complex on the Oklahoma Baptist University campus in Shawnee.
"We failed to contest shots all night long," Grover said. "And especially at the end of the game."
With time winding down and Seminole trailing by a point, Caporale drove past NEO's Bram Nivar and was grabbed. Caporale sank both ends of the intentional foul call to produce a 72-71 Trojan lead.
On the inbounds play, Caporale was fouled again and sank one of two shots with 0:01.3 showing on the clock.
NEO sophomore Bo Bond threw up a shot from near half court as the buzzer sounded as the ball bounced off the front of the rim.
After seven lead changes in the first half, the two teams exchanged the lead 12 times in the lost 20 minutes.
Freshman Chris Cox had a career high 27 points to lead NEO while JoVaughn Love paced Seminole with 20 points.