MONTGOMERY, Ala. - The Auburn University at Montgomery's men's basketball program had three players score in double figures, but Jake Mitchell's layup with less than 10 seconds to play lifted conference rival Faulkner past the Senators, 68-67, Saturday at the AUM Physical Education Complex.
For the second time this season, AUM fell in the final 10 seconds of the game to the Eagles, as it lost to Faulkner on Feb. 3 on a 3-pointer by De Hereford with 1.8 seconds remaining in the contest.
The Senators end their season with an 8-18 overall record and a 5-7 mark in Southern States Athletic Conference West Division play. With the win, the Eagles (11-18, 6-6 SSAC West) advance to next week's SSAC Tournament in Rome, Ga., as the fifth seed from the West Division.
Freshman A.J. Ansley led the Senators with 14 points, while senior Charles Perona added 13 points. Junior Johnny Williams also chipped in 11 points off the bench. Fellow junior Alex Hergott finished with five points, a game-high nine rebounds and two blocked shots.
The Senators went into intermission trailing by two points, 37-35, but jumped out with a 3-pointer from Perona with 19:08 remaining in the contest. However, the Eagles answered with an 11-2 spurt during the next 2:33 to take a seven point lead, 46-39, their largest lead of the game.
Despite the run, the Senators rallied back and tied the score at 54-54 with 9:50 remaining in the contest on a trey by Ansley. AUM followed with a 10-3 run, building a game-high seven point lead with 6:10 remaining.
With 1:09 remaining in the game, the Senators still held a four-point advantage, 67-63, but Faulkner's Duke Phillips drained a 3-pointer to pull the Eagles to within one point.
The Eagles took a 68-67 advantage with nine seconds on the game-winning shot from Mitchell.
AUM had one final opportunity, but Chris Palmore was able to steal the ball with less than two seconds to secure the victory.
For the contest, the Senators converted 22-of-57 shot from the floor, good for 38.6 percent, but hit just 19-of-32 shots from the free throw line. Faulkner finished with 28-of-61 from the field, a percentage of .459.
Palmore led all players with a game-high 18 points, while adding eight rebounds. Birama Konate added 12 points and nine rebounds in the victory.