Stetson 72, North Carolina A&T 69
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP)—Eric Diaz scored 19 points and hit four of Stetson’s 12 3-pointers in a 72-69 victory over North Carolina A&T on Saturday in the John Thompson Foundation Classic.
Kris Thomas added 17 points for Stetson (1-1) in a matchup of first-round losers in the three-day, round-robin tournament. Stetson, an 80-68 loser to Army on Friday, won despite missing three of four at the line in the final 19.8 seconds.
Steven Rush hit six 3-pointers and scored 21 points for North Carolina A&T (0-2), which lost 101-80 to host school Missouri on Friday. But Rush was 6-for-19 from the field after going 1-for-11 in the opener, and missed a wild 3-point attempt with one second to go while well-covered.
Jason Wills added 13 points and eight rebounds for the losers, who are 15-73 the last three seasons with only one victory outside the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.
Nate McMillen added 15 points and five assists for Stetson.
Stetson scored seven straight points, the last five by McMillen, for a 68-58 lead with 3:16 to go. North Carolina A&T cut the gap to three on Wills’ layup with 13.1 seconds to go and Thomas, fouled off the inbounds pass, missed a pair of free throws with 10.3 seconds left to give North Carolina A&T a final shot.
Diaz was 7-for-11 from the field, including 4-for-5 from 3-point range. The Hatters were 12-for-24 from long range and have made 20 3-pointers the first two games.
North Carolina A&T’s first six shots were 3-point attempts, and three connected to help the Aggies build a pair of early 10-point leads. But A&T finished just 9-for-33 from long range.