In sports, you have never seen it all.
You think you’ve seen it all, but then a game turns and ends on a four-point play wherein a guy heaves a 35-footer in a 3-point game as time is about to expire, sinks the shot, then buries the winning free throw to complete an inconceivable comeback.
That’s what happened Monday night inside the Holmes Convocation Center at Appalachian State. Georgia Southern was trailing 100-97 with only a few seconds to go. Go ahead and watch above. Witness as freshman Tookie Brown dishes to sophomore teammate Mike Hughes just as time is about to expire. View in horror as App. State senior Chris Burgess flies into, and fouls, Hughes as he puts up the prayer.
Lift your eyebrows in an awakening as you watch the shot fall true.
“That was one of the crazier finishes of any college basketball game that I’ve ever been a part of,” Georgia Southern coach Mark Byington said. “I’m proud of the guys for not giving up. It definitely looked like everything was against us. I didn’t have a power forward or a 5-man eligible to play anymore, so I had to have five guards out there. Mike Hughes is a winner. He is a different type of guy where he’s calm and cool under pressure. I had no doubt that he was going to make the free throw. The 3-pointer was ridiculous. That was just those five guys out there making plays.”
Hughes stepped to the line with 0.8 seconds to go, hit the freebie, and with that we have one of the wildest endings to a college basketball game this season. Hughes scored nine of GSU final 12 to help close out the game. GSU rallied from an eight-point deficit in the final 2 1/2 minutes. Brown had a career-high 34 points in the win. Credit the kid for passing the ball on his team’s last possession, even though he had the hot hand most of the night.
“I knew we needed a 3 because they just hit two free throws, and I thought Tookie might take it because he was hot,” Hughes said. “It didn’t surprise me that it went in because I shoot shots like that during breaks in practice a lot. The foul was because he didn’t let me land, and that’s the way they call the game now.”
Let’s also take notice of the score — 201 total points — and recognize that this game didn’t even go to overtime. A bountiful 78 posessions, assisted in good portion by the fact there were 59 fouls called, none more devastating or consequential than the last.
Video via Appalachian State TV department.