Summersville may have hit nine 3-pointers against Thayer in the semi-finals of the 39th annual Liberty Invitational Tournament Jan. 21, but it was at the charity stripe where the Wildcats made their biggest impression.
With a nine-for-10 showing at the free throw line in the last two minutes of the game, the third-seeded Wildcats managed to top the second-seeded Bobcats 74-70.
Although it was way more of a wide-open affair than the first time these two teams hooked up, with Summersville winning 36-33 in the Bobcats' first game of the season, this clash was just as tight as the first meeting.
Summersville's first three field goals of the third period were all treys, helping the Wildcats hang onto the four-point lead they had forged at the half.
But Ricky Smith (18 points) hit a layup with 15 ticks left on the third period clock, knotting the game at 50-all after three.
Thayer then used a layup from Dylan Dennis (eight points) and pair of free throws from Smith, to move on top 54-50 early in the fourth.
However, that also proved to be Thayer's last lead of the night.
Summersville quickly erased that deficit with a 9-2 run, pushing the Wildcats in front 59-56 midway into the fourth.
The Bobcats did edge within one point a couple of times late in the contest, the last coming on an inside move from Josh Huckabee (18 points) that saw Summersville in front 68-67, but the Wildcats were steady at the free throw line when they needed to be, helping Summerville hang onto the lead.
Justin Shipp (11 points) drilled a 3-ball right before the final horn, but Summersville made it two wins in a row over Thayer this season with the 74-70 victory.
The Bobcats had built a 12-7 lead midway into the first period when Summersville rallied with a 7-0 run to grab a 14-12 advantage.
But Thayer responded with a triple from Smith, along with an old-fashioned 3-point play by Tommy Martin (13 points), to notch a 22-19 lead after one.
After hitting a pair of 3-pointers in the first period, the Wildcats really began to heat up and nailed three more bombs in the second, allowing Summersville to break up a 30-all tie to take a 36-32 lead to intermission.
Jared Foley finished the night with two points.