THOMASVILLE, Ga.—On a night where shots weren’t falling no matter which team was shooting them, the shots taken with the clock stopped were the difference.
Thomas connected on 23-of-27 at the free throw line to come away with a 62-58 victory over Southeastern.
The Fire (17-8) went 12-of-19 at the line, and were outrebounded by two.
Southeastern trailed by one with a minute left following a C.J. Reese layup, but the Night Hawks (13-11) were solid at the line, eliminating the chance for the Fire to rally back.
Reese was the top scorer in the contest, netting 20 points, dishing out four assists, and grabbing seven rebounds.
Early on, Southeastern was the aggressor, building a six-point lead (12-6) with 15:00 left in the half. However, over the next 7:10, the Night Hawks outscored the Fire 12-6 to tie the game at 18 with 7:50 left.
TU took its first lead of the game with 4:18 left in the first on a 3-pointer by D.J. Roulhoc, and went to the locker room leading 27-24.
The Fire didn’t regain the lead until the 12:02 mark of the second half, using a 13-5 run, to eliminate what was a seven-point deficit with 17:13 left.
Momentum started to shift back toward the hosts with 9:17 left, when out of a timeout, Katrell Myers dunked a Javoris Cooks lob to get within three (46-43). A 7-2 run over the next 2:26 gave the Night Hawks the lead back.
Southeastern got a pair of free throws from Ryan Atkins at the 4:18 mark to give the Fire a 53-52 lead, which they would only hold for the next minute.
Atkins finished with 15 points, and three rebounds.
Jeremy Oppenheimer was the top rebounder for SEU, grabbing eight.
Southeastern finished the night 39% from the field, making four more field goals than TU.
The Fire return to the court on Thursday at Florida Memorial.