MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The Huntingdon men's basketball team took a commanding lead in the second half but had to hold on to beat Berry College 81-75 on Saturday.
The Hawks (3-6), who led by as many as 18 points in the final 13 minutes, sank 5-of-6 free throws in the final 30 seconds to hold off the Vikings (1-6).
"We made some mistakes, but we played better today. We still have to learn how to hold on to a lead, but we're improving," Huntingdon head coach Mike Pugh said. "This is the second straight game where we've come out and played good defense, rebounded well and made our free throws.
"The main thing is we're glad to be going into the break with a win. We've got two weeks until our next game and these last two games are something we can build off of when we travel to Hampden-Sydney."
The Hawks return to action on Dec. 29 at Hampden-Sydney
As a team, Huntingdon hit 27-of-36 free throws on Saturday. The final five free throws helped seal the win.
Midway through the second half, it didn't look like the Hawks would need last-second free throws to win. Huntingdon took a 57-39 lead on a Petty layup with 12:57 to play. But Berry answered with a 20-4 run during the next six minutes and cut the Hawks' lead to two points with 6:57 to play.
Huntingdon extended its lead back to 10 points but led by just four when Norris stepped to the free-throw line with 30 seconds left.
Petty finished with 21 points, six rebounds and three steals to lead Huntingdon. Austin Hill added 19 points and six rebounds and Jeremiah Thomas followed with 11 points and six rebounds. Norris had four assists for the Hawks and Byron Dudley had three assists.