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Division II guard explains how she missed a free throw by 10 feet

Jeff Eisenberg
The Dagger

If it's true that misery loves company, then Appalachian State center Brian Okam should be a bit happier these days.

Now he's not the only player this season to miss a free throw 10 feet short of the rim.

Shanteona Keys, a 5-foot-8 sophomore guard on Georgia College's women's basketball team, was so off target on a free-throw attempt Saturday against Columbus State that the ball landed in the middle of the paint after she released it. It was very reminiscent of Okam's errant free throw against Western Carolina in December that also fell way short of the rim.

Since Keys is shooting 81.5 percent from the foul line and leads her team in made free throws this season, it's only natural to wonder what the heck happened that caused her to miss so badly. Deadspin's Tom Ley was curious enough to contact Keys to ask her, and to her credit she was a good enough sport to share the explanation.

According to Keys, she shoots the ball so close to her face when attempting a free throw that her index finger occasionally will strike her nose.

"On that shot, I just followed through too close to my face," she told Deadspin. "And my fingernail got caught on my nose, so I couldn't follow through correctly on the shot.

"It actually happens to me a lot in practice. It's just never happened in a game before, with cameras rolling."

Unfortunately for Keys, her team could have used that point Saturday. Georgia College lost to Columbus State 70-60 despite 20 points from Keys.

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