Mon, Dec. 5, 2011 - [Men's Basketball]
ARKADELPHIA, Ark. - Hours after the Freed-Hardeman Lions cracked the NAIA top 25, they picked up a win over an NCAA Division II opponent for the third time this season.
The No. 19 Lions made 16-of-17 free throws in the second half to pull away from Henderson State (Ark.) University, 81-72, to defeat the Reddies for the second time this season.
Freed-Hardeman (8-3) moved up from the receiving votes category in the pre-season poll to be ranked in the top 25 for the first time since Dec. 13, 2010, when the Lions came in at No. 25.
Neither team could take control of the game in the first half, with seven ties and nine lead changes. FHU looked like it might build a cushion near the end of the half with six unanswered points to take a 36-30 lead with 1:04 left, but HSU scored the next five points - finished by a 3-pointer from Joe McCoy with four seconds on the clock - to pull back within one at halftime.
The Lions held on to a narrow lead for the first few minutes of the second half until an 11-2 run capped by a traditional 3-point play by Reggie Gilmore put them on top by nine points with 14:14 remaining.
FHU still led by nine after a layup by Kyle Teichmann at the 11:26 mark, but the lead would be short-lived as the Reddies went on a 9-0 run to tie the game for the ninth time.
Anthony Sampson broke the tie with a 3-pointer but HSU followed with five unanswered points to take its first lead since late in the first half at 62-60.
The Reddies had three chances to add to that lead as the Lions failed to score on those possessions following the lead change, but failed to convert. Teichmann then knocked down a 3-pointer to give FHU the lead once more, a lead that the Lions would not lose the rest of the way.
Freed-Hardeman scored on its next four possessions to take a 72-66 lead with 4:03 left. Both teams then went cold for the next three minutes with neither scoring a point. After another missed shot, HSU fouled Jonathan Milewski and following the call, the Reddies' Jonathan Fitzgerald was hit with a technical foul.
Milewski made all four three throws to put the Lions ahead by 10 with 1:03 to play, effectively icing the game. FHU made 5-of-6 free throws in the final minute to keep Henderson State from being able to stage a comeback.
Teichmann posted his third straight double-double, and only needed one half to do it. The junior had 13 points and 10 rebounds at the break and finished with 24 points and 13 rebounds. Milewski added 14 points while Gilmore had 10.
FHU returns to action on Saturday hosting William Carey (Miss.) University at 4:00 PM.