TAMPA, FL – The Pfeiffer men’s basketball team (3-8) came just shy of knocking off Tampa (7-3) but missed a jumper in the final seconds as the Spartans came away with a 75-74 victory. The game was close the entire way as neither team had a lead larger than eight points.
Mike Smith connected on a clutch three pointer with the Falcons trailing by four with 50 seconds left to play to make it a one point game. Pfeiffer came away with a big stop on the defensive end and David McNair controlled the rebound. Head Coach Jeremy Currier called a timeout with four seconds left to set up a last second play for the win. On the ensuing play, Smith got a jump shot off, but was unable to convert.
Smith scored 24 points in the game, his tenth straight game scoring over 20. He connected on 2-of-3 attempts from long range and dished out six assists. AJ Clark added 18 points and five assists while McNair had his fourth consecutive game in double-digit rebounds, grabbing a season-high 15 boards.
Pfeiffer had a season-low seven turnovers in the contest and held a 43-35 advantage in rebounds.
The host Spartans were led by 16 points and 10 rebounds by Eric Moraes. Ryan Kiss added 13 points and Vincent Cornu had 12 points and seven rebounds.
Pfeiffer also connected on a season-best 47.4 percent (9-for-19) from long range and had a 16-9 advantage in second chance points. Their game featured 10 lead changes and seven ties.
Smith scored 15 points and went 6-for-8 from the free throw line in the second half and Clark had 10 second half points. The Falcons shot 48 percent from the field in the final 20 minutes.
The three point defense was also solid for Pfeiffer as they held Tampa to only 26.1 percent from long distance.
The Falcons are off until a Jan. 4 matchup with King at Merner Gym at 7:30. The Tornado were voted by the coaches as the favorite to win Conference Carolinas.