The Jefferson Falcons hadn’t exactly been tearing it up from the free-throw line and had all but given away a 10-lead. It didn’t look promising for the Falcons heading into the final nine minutes of play.
Troy Bloom came to the rescue and Jefferson dropped All-American Conference rival Lakeview, 57-49, on Friday night at Falcon Gym.
Bloom was fouled on a 3-point attempt and made all three free throws with 1:07 to play in the third period. Forty seconds later, he knocked down a triple and the Falcons (5-11, 3-5) held a 36-29 lead.
“Troy made some big shots,” Jefferson coach Jeremy Huber said. “That kept the lead and gave us confidence. We were breathing a little lighter as team.”
Lakeview was without three regulars, including starter Tommy Bell (team discipline) and the Falcons were without 6-foot-7 junior center David Chase (finger) and senior regular Tony Chiacchiero (knee).
Up until Bloom’s free throws, the Falcons were 8 of 16 on charity tosses as a group through the first 22:53. Over the final 9:07, they were 16 of 21 (76.2 percent), making nine in a row — five by senior point guard Jacob Hamilton — in building a 47-31 advantage with 3:55 left in the game.
“In games we’ve lost, we’ve struggled (from the line),” Bloom said. “We’d get down five or seven and free throws were big because we weren’t knocking them down. If we would’ve made more, the game
might’ve been different.
“It feels good (to be on the other side of that equation).”
Hamilton was 10 of 12 from the line in the fourth on his way 12 points.
“Give a lot of credit to Jacob,” Huber said. “He led the offense (5 assists) really well and played good defense. And he was good from the line.”
The Bulldogs (4-12 overall) struggled to score for much of the night.