Menlo men give Lumberjacks the axe in 79-78 hoops win

Charles Neal hit a free throw with three seconds left to help Menlo beat host Humboldt State on Sunday. Photo courtesy of Menlo Athletics.

Freshman Charles Neal made one of two free throws with three seconds remaining to lift the Menlo College men's basketball team past host Humboldt State, 79-78, in a nonconference contest Sunday.

John Paine scored 22 points to lead the Oaks (10-2), who travel to Arizona for the Cactus Classic that begins next Sunday with a game against Rocky Mountain College. Neal finished with 17 points, as did Jeremiah Testa.

John Paine/Menlo Athletics
Henry Cornelious came off the bench to score 10 points and grab a team-high eight rebounds.

With Menlo down by three, Neal hit a layup with 1:30 left. The Oaks forced a turnover and Paine hit an ensuing lay-up to put the Oaks up by one. He was fouled in the processo a two-point edge.

The Lumberjacks scored with 23 seconds left to tie the game and set up Neal's heroics.

The 10 wins matches Menlo's total of each of the past two seasons. The Oaks take a season-best five-game winning streak into the Cactus Classic.

Humboldt State scored the game's first nine points and led by 10 with 3:39 remaining to play in the first half.

Paine made a pair of free throws with 16:51 remaining to play to give the Oaks their first lead at 50-49.

The Lumberjacks regained the lead less than 30 seconds later and kept it until Payne's three-point play with 41 seconds left.

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