LAURINBURG, N.C. - The sophomore guard duo of Aaron Christian (New Bedford, Mass.) and Antonio Moffitt (Raleigh, N.C.) both set career-high point totals with 24 and 23 points, respectively, for St. Andrews Presbyterian College but junior Jeff Pettiway (Edgewood, Md.) scored three of his game-high 29 points in the final minute to lift visiting Pfeiffer University to a 112-110 Conference Carolinas menís basketball victory Monday night in Harris Court.
The Falcons -- who lead the nation in points per game and steals -- won the marathon game that featured 71 total fouls and 104 total free throw attempts to improve to 8-5 overall and 4-3 in the conference. The Knights maintain 6-9 overall and 2-6 league ledgers after having their five-game home win streak snapped.
Christian finished with 24 points after hitting a deep three-pointer at the top of the key with 1.2 seconds left that pulled the Knights to within one but freshman James Morse (Arundel, Maine) hit a free throw before intentionally missing the second attempt with 0.2 seconds remaining to seal the second win in three days for Pfeiffer.
SAPC junior center Zack Garst (Huntersville, N.C.) tied Christian with 24 points on an impressive 7-of-8 shooting from the field. Garst recorded his third straight double-double and seventh of the season with a game-high 15 rebounds.
Moffitt scored 13 of his career-high 23 points in the first half to help St. Andrews to a 59-54 halftime advantage. Sophomore Kurt Fenderbosch (Myrtle Beach, S.C.) was the Knights fourth double digit scorer with 13 points.
Pfeiffer made its first three attempts from three-point distance in the first three minutes to build an early nine-point lead (19-10) but the St. Andrews defense held the Falcons without a made three-pointer for the remainder of the half. The Knights rallied before taking the lead for the final five minute and 43 seconds of the first half.
The two in-state rivals battled closely throughout the second half before St. Andrews seemed to grab the momentum on a series of plays by Christian with just over six minutes remaining that gave the host a 97-91 advantage. Junior Marcus Connor stuffed away a thunderous alley-oop dunk on a feed from Christian to start the outburst. A couple seconds later, Christian made a steal and converted on the breakaway lay-in to increase the Knights lead to six.††
Pfeiffer wisely took a timeout and then stormed back with consecutive made 3-pointers by senior James Crowder (High Point, N.C.) and sophomore Davon Gilliard (Charleston, S.C.) that knotted the score up at 97-97.
The Knights stayed poised and scored the next four points to take their last lead but Pfeiffer answered with the next 10 points to take over. Pettiway highlighted the surge with a field goal to tie the contest for the 11th and final time followed by a made trifectas to put the Falcons ahead. Pfeiffer continued to lead by three, 110-107, with 25 seconds left after Pettiway made a runner in the lane and 1-of-2 free throws in the last minute. After an SAPC timeout, the Knights decided to go for a quick two-pointer instead of a potential game-tying three-pointer and misfired. Crowder made the second of two free throws on the ensuing Falcon ball with 6.1 seconds left to make it a two possession game not giving the Knights enough time after Christian hit his clutch three-pointer with 1.2 ticks showing on the clock.
Pfeiffer received 90 of its 110 points from the bench. Gilliard and junior Chris Woods (Greensboro, N.C.) both scored 20 points. Crowder finished with a 12 point, 12 rebound double-double. Morse was the only Falcon starter in double figures with 14 points. Pettiway handed out six assists to go along with his game-high 29 points.
Both teams shot 50.0% from the field but Pfeiffer was 10-for-18 (55.6%) from behind the three-point arc compared to 5-of-12 (41.7%) by SAPC. The Knights held a slim 46-41 rebounding edge.
Connor -- who ranks amongst the nations leaders in block shots -- swatted away a game-high five Falcon shots before fouling out. Christian dished out a game-high seven assists.
St. Andrews hosts Conference Carolinas foe Belmont Abbey College on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. while Pfeiffer entertains league rival Limestone College at the same time Thursday.