Ten games in ten years: Part five
** Disclaimer: The games included in these articles are solely my opinion. If yours differs, I’d encourage you to comment below, or join the discussion on our forums. **
Make sure you checked out previous post of this ongoing series!
This week was a toss up for me. There were two games that stood out in the 2016-2017 season—similar in one very unique way. But then it occurred to me, why pick just one?
Not only were these games back-to-back—separated by only four days—they were both on the road, and they were both only .4 seconds from being losses.
Yep, you know exactly where I’m going with this:
#6 – VCU @ St. Bonaventure
February 4, 2017
Matt Mobley was unstoppable for SBU and proved it by hitting 9 three pointers and scoring a game-high 34 points. But, none were bigger, or more important, then his go-ahead three which left only .4 seconds on the clock in regulation and put the Bonnies up, 66-65.
That’s when chaos ensued.
Game should have been over, fans started rushing the court and security did the reasonable thing as the floor flooded, a security guard picked up the ball and made sure everyone was safe.
But in the time between Mobley’s shot, and the buzzer going off, Doug Brooks was racing to get the ball from the security guard, inbound it, and try to get a shot off before the clock had expired though.
This is where the technical foul was called. During the madness there was confusion over the rules and speculation that the foul was called on the students rushing the court, but the A10 release a statement the following day clarifying the ruling on the court:
“The administrative technical foul was assessed for multiple reasons,” the conference said “The most significant was an individual taking the game ball from the inbounding baseline [assuming time had expired] and walking down the sideline, causing the VCU player to look for the ball, and chase the individual to secure the ball for inbound. Simultaneously, one of the game officials collided with a fan on the court, prior to the inbound toss. It was after these violations that the clock expired, and the students and fans stormed the court with :00 on the clock.”
Will Wade called on senior JeQuan Lewis to shoot the one-shot technical free throw with a chance to tie the game.
Lewis drained it and nearly won in regulation as a last second full-court heave by Jonathan Williams bounced off the back of the rim.
Jonathan Williams then added 5 points in the overtime period—including a three point play—as the Rams went on to win the game, 83-77.
It was a once-in-a-lifetime way to win a game.
Except that it wasn’t.
#6 – VCU @ George Washington
February 8, 2017
Just four short days removed from the bedlam in Olean, NY, VCU headed to Foggy Bottom to take on the Yuta Watanabe led Colonials of GW.
With 10.2 seconds left on the clock and senior JeQuan Lewis back on the free throw line, VCU held a 52-50 advantage. But, this time Lewis bounced the front-end of a one-and-one off the back of the rim, giving GW the chance to tie or take the lead.
Watanabe caught and shot the ball in almost the exact same spot as Mobley just four days early for SBU. And just like Mobley before, Watanabe drill the three to that the one point lead. Not eerie enough for you yet? After reviewing the play the refs put, you guessed it, .4 seconds back on the clock.
This time the refs didn’t intervene, the fans didn’t rush the court, no one picked up the ball. This time, it was just solid play call and perfect execution that got the Rams out of a jam.
Will Wade drew up an inbound scheme that saw Justin Tillman running the baseline to get the ball into play.
But, instead of looking for the ball, JeQuan Lewis stepped in front the defender inbounding the ball to set a pick and proceeded to get bowled over while drawing the foul.
The Rams then walked the ball down the court 94 feet and Lewis sank two free throws to take the one point lead.
GW was able to get a desperation hail mary shot off, but to no avail, as the Rams went on to win 54-53.
Come back next week as we move to #5 on my list of my personal top 10 games over the last 10 years. Here’s a little hint for those restless folks out there:
VCU became only the second A10 team to win at this arena during conference play in 6 years.
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