NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – Freshman B.J. Barker sank two free throws in the final seconds to lead the Huntingdon men's basketball team past Alvernia 68-67 on Friday in the first round of the Christopher Newport Christmas Tournament.
Trailing 67-66 with six seconds on the clock, Barker tied the game with his first free throw and gave the Hawks the lead with his second free throw. Alvernia (3-8) attempted a shot at the buzzer but the Hawks (4-5) held on for their second straight win.
Huntingdon will play 18th-ranked Christopher Newport (9-1) in the tournament championship game on Saturday at 3 p.m. (Central).
Barker finished with a season-high 21 points, including a 5-for-5 performance at the free-throw line, and five rebounds. Kyante Pines added 12 points and five rebounds, Charvez' Hobson finished with 10 points and seven rebounds and Isaiah King had nine points. James Harris had a team-high eight rebounds.
Huntingdon never trailed by more than 10 points, but played from behind for much of the game. After building an early five-point lead, the Hawks fell behind with 8:13 to play in the first half and would not regain the lead until the final seven minutes of the second half.
A basket by Pines put Huntingdon in front, 55-54, with 6:22 to play in the second half and a 3-pointer by Aaron Washington gave the Hawks a 58-56 lead with 5:36 to play.
Huntingdon maintained a slim lead until the final 20 seconds of the game. Alvernia went ahead 67-66 with 18 seconds remaining before Barker came through for the Hawks at the free-throw line.
Records: Huntingdon (4-5); Alvernia (3-8)
Notable: Barker leads the Hawks and is second in the USA South Athletic Conference with an 87.1 free-throw percentage this season. He is 27-for-31 from the free-throw line and has made at least five free throws in four games. Pfeiffer's Craig Sabb leads the USA South with an 88.1 free-throw percentage (52-of-59).
Coming Up: Huntingdon returns to action in the championship game of the Christopher Newport Christmas Tournament on Saturday. The Hawks will play 18th-ranked Christopher Newport at 3 p.m. (Central).