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It was a track meet in Frankfort for the Mid-South Conference men's tournament championship.
Georgetown College (29-4) and St. Catharine College (22-8) played for the fourth time this season and it came down to free throws at the end. SCC erased an 11-point deficit to force a 73 tie with 1:10 remaining. The Tigers, a 67.8 percent free throw shooting team this season, went 6-of-6 in that time for the 79-75 win.
Senior Eddie Gray, who leads the team with an 88.2 percentage from the line, gave GC the lead for good 75-73 with 45 seconds left. SCC turned the ball over, fouling Tyrone Shelley in the process. The junior knocked down two more free throws for the added cushion, 77-73. SCC lost the ball again, but GC returned the favor leading to a Kashiff Carr breakaway dunk for a 77-75 game with 10 second left. Georgetown inbounded the ball to Gray, who took care of business once again with two free throws. Brandon Johnson had a chance to make it interesting with .4 remaining on the line for three free throws, but missed the first two and the third intentionally. The Tigers grabbed the rebounded and ended the game.
Maurice Pearson was the inside force most of the day, scoring 18 points, while Shelley did a bit of it all with 19 points. Vic Moses had several key tap ins and finished with 16 points. Gray was the final Tiger in double-digits 13.
Moses had 11 rebounds to lead GC. Antoine Watson scored 17 points to lead SCC, while Xavier Keeling, Carr and Johnson all had 11.
GC opened the game much like it finished its semifinal, rolling off an 8-0 run in the first three minutes. The Patriots stayed calm though and began to take over the game. SCC's lead grew to as many as 15 in the first half, but the Tigers clawed back and began to find its rhythm. In the final four minutes of the first half and the first 10 of the second half, Georgetown ripped off a 34-8 run, which would seem to have the game on cruise control.
St. Catharine did not quit though, and fought back over the next nine minutes to tie the game, setting the stage for an exciting conclusion to GC's eight MSC crown in its 14th try and third back-to-back championship.
Georgetown and St. Catharine advance to the National Tournament in Kansas City. Pairings will be announced mid-week with the tournament starting on March 16.
The Tigers are making their 20th straight trip to Kansas City.
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