Late free throws lift Menlo College to hoops victory

Charles Neal, celebrating his 19th birthday, hit three free throws in the final seconds to lift Menlo past Benedictine. Photo courtesy of Menlo Athletics.

Charles Neal made three free throws with three seconds remaining to play to lift Menlo College's men's basketball team past Benedictine, 81-80, on the second day of the Cactus Classic in Gilbert, Ariz. on Monday.

Neal's free throws culminated a wild finish in which the lead changed hands nine times and was tied on 10 other occasions over the final 14 minutes of play.

John Paine/Menlo Athletics
John Paine hit a 3-pointer with 13:13 left to tie the game at 51 as the Oaks (12-2) rallied from a 13-point deficit.

Menlo meets Embry-Riddle in the final game of the tournament on Tuesday night. The Eagles (5-3) played a late game Monday night.

The Oaks have won seven straight since a two-game slide in the middle of November. Menlo has won five of those games by three points or less.

Menlo were 8-of-17 from the field and 11-of-13 from the foul line over the final 14 minutes while Benedictine was 11-of-21 from the field and 4-of-6 from the foul line.

Benedictine took a 42-29 lead with 49 seconds left in the first half. Tyler Evans scored with 17 seconds left to bring it within 42-31 at halftime.

Paine led Menlo with 17 points while Henry Cornelious added 13. Jeremiah Testa and Neal each had 11 points.

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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