'Jacks Advance Past VCU In OT
March 21, 2014
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - The Stephen F. Austin men's basketball team closed out regulation on a four-point play from senior Desmond Haymon to tie it 67-67 and then outscored VCU 10-8 in overtime to advance to the third round of the NCAA Tournament with a 77-75 victory Friday evening at Viejas Arena at Aztec Bowl, the program's first-ever win in the big dance.
Haymon and the Lumberjacks (32-2) trailed the Rams (26-9) by five points (66-61) with 32 seconds remaining and made a charge in the final minute.
After a made jumper from Haymon, who finished with 17 points, cut the lead to three, VCU's Briante Weber hit a free throw to push it to 67-63 with 21 seconds remaining. In the next possession, sophomore Thomas Walkup made a move in the paint to open up Haymon, who then knocked down a three-pointer with five seconds remaining, drawing the foul for the and-one.
Out of a timeout, Haymon went to the line with the season on the line and sunk his free throw to tie it 67-67 in the waning seconds.
Haymon finished 5-of-12 from the field, with three made shots beyond the arc, and 4-of-5 from the line, while collecting seven rebounds to help the team pick up their 29th straight overall win. The win is the 32nd for the team this season, setting a new record for most wins in a single season.
Junior Jacob Parker led SFA offensively with a game-high 22 points. The native of Bixby, Okla., was 9-of-14 from the in the win, finishing 2-for-2 from both the three-point and free throw line.
Walkup recorded his third double-double of the season, with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
The `Jacks outshot VCU 52.9 percent (27-51) to 46.2 percent (30-65), all while taking 14 less attempts than the Rams.
Up 36-30 at the start of the second half, the VCU opened the second 20-minute span on a 11-5 run to tie it 41-41 (13:24) and then continued with a 13-2 run to take a 54-43, holding SFA scoreless for 5:01.
In the first half, there were a combined nine lead changes, with the two teams drawing even on five separate occasions, before the `Jacks prevailed with a 36-30 lead heading into the break. SFA, after yielding the first points of the game on a made jumper, went on a 6-0 run over the next 1:30 to take a 6-2 lead over the Rams, The advantage remained in favor of the `Jacks, despite one tie, until a made three-pointer from Doug Brooks gave VCU their first lead since the 19:39 mark.
For each tie or swing in possession, SFA always had an answer, until Walkup drained his lone shot beyond the arc of the game to give the `Jacks a 29-28 (2:18) edge. Walkup and SFA limited the Rams to just one made basket across the final two minutes of the half to take a 36-30 lead into the lockerroom.
Parker led the way for the `Jacks in the first half with 11 points on 5-of-7 shooting, including one three-pointer, and Walkup and Gajic each followed with three made baskets of their own. Walkup was a perfect 3-for-3 from the field with a one from three-point land to finish with seven points, while Gajic was 3-of-5 for six points.
SFA will play the winner of No. 4 seeded UCLA and No. 13 seeded Tulsa on Sunday, Mar. 23.
Stephen F. Austin – Post-Game Locker Room Quotes
Thomas Walkup, So., G, Pasadena, TX
On emotion after the win:
On Desmond Haymon and the last play of regulation:
On 29 game winning streak:
Connor Brooks, Jr., G/F, Manhattan, KS.
On the meaning of win for the program:
On sustaining composure in 2nd half: