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Bulldogs Sink Comets 75-74 on Last-Second Free Throws to Earn Third Place at Holiday Classic

Bulldogs Sink Comets 75-74 on Last-Second Free Throws to Earn Third Place at Holiday Classic

Devin Davis sank a pair of free throws to push the Allan Hancock College men's basketball team to a 75-74 win over Palomar to earn third place at th3 53rd annual Holiday Classic on Saturday. The third-place game was a rematch of last year's championship game that the Bulldogs won in come-from-behind fashion. The Bulldogs improved to 10-6, while Palomar dropped to 9-7.

Freshman Javae Lampkins tied a career high with 20 points. He hit 6-of-10 from 3-point range and 7-of-11 overall in 21 minutes on the court. Lampkins delivered several big shots down the stretch in the final minutes of the first and second halves.

Sophomore guard Shane Carney added 15 points, nine assists, six rebounds and two steals. Carney hit 4-of-13 from the field, and 2-of-7 from long range. Carney also hit 5-of-7 from the free-throw line. After averaging 15.3 points, 6.6 assists and 5.3 rebounds per game during the three-day tournament, Carney earned a spot on the All-Tournament Team. Spirit Ricks added 11 points and eight rebounds for the Bulldogs. Davis came off the bench to add eight points and five rebounds.

Jackson Strong led the Comets with 31 points, while Matt Meyers earned a double-double with 18 points and 12 rebounds.

Palomar scored the first eight points of the game, but Hancock bounced back behind 3-point buckets by Carney, Lampkins and Shemarr Parker to take a 15-13 lead. Lampkins hit three 3-pointers in the final five minutes of the first half to help the Bulldogs carry a 39-38 lead into halftime. Lampkins had 14 points behind a 4-for-6 effort from 3-point range in the first half.

The second half was a back-and-forth battle. A triple by Parker and a pair of free throws from Carney gave Hancock a 69-63 lead with 3:24 to play. Within the next two minutes, Palomar buried three 3-pointers of its own, two by Strong, to take a 72-70 lead with 1:22 to play. The Bulldogs answered with a three of their own, the sixth of the day from Lampkins to take a 73-72 lead with less than a minute to play. Palomar regained the lead with 11 seconds remaining when Corday Fairley stole the ball and forced Hancock to foul him and send him to the line. Fairley sank both free throws to give Palomar the lead back 74-73 with 11 seconds remaining.

On Hancock's ensuing possession, Davis drew a foul with four seconds left on the clock. The sophomore transfer sank a pair free throws to provide the one-point margin of victory.

The game featured nine ties and 16 lead changes.

Overall, Hancock made 25 of its 59 shots from the field (42 percent), and sank 14-of-20 from the free-throw line or 70 percent. Both teams hit 11 3-point buckets.

Bakersfield won the consolation championship game to claim fifth place with a 77-67 win over Chabot. Jamar Hammonds led the Renegades (8-5) with 25 points, while Jaylunn English added 21 points and 11 boards. Jorden Gilmete led Chabot with 14 points.

Cuesta and Merritt will play later Saturday in the championship game. Both teams are searching for their first Holiday Classic championship.

Hancock will return to action January 5 at a tournament hosted by Cuesta College. The Bulldogs open against East Los Angeles at 1 p.m.