Stephen F. Austin pulled off a stunning upset over No. 1 Duke on Tuesday, capturing a 85-83 overtime victory in an instant classic.
The Lumberjacks, who entered the game as 27.5-point underdogs, clawed back from a 15-point second-half deficit to shock a star-studded Blue Devils team. That comeback was capped with an improbable final play.
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With both teams tied at 83 in overtime, on what could have been the last possession of the game, Duke’s Tre Jones looked inside for Matthew Hurt for the go-ahead score. His errant pass was knocked away and stolen by Lumberjacks forward Gavin Kensmil, setting up a wild breakaway attempt in the closing seconds. Kensmil fed the ball to Nathan Bain, who sped down the court after the loose-ball scramble and laid the ball in as the buzzer sounded for the win.
The full sequence is below:
Said Bain of the play: “I saw my teammate grab it and I looked up the clock. We had about 2.6 seconds, I was like, ‘I gotta get on my horse.’ Then nobody saw me so I’m just trying to go as fast as I can to lay it up, like a lay-up drill. I could feel the dude on my back, so I laid it up and just prayed it’d go in.
“I was confident. I just wasn’t sure if the dude was gonna foul me at the end. I wanted to get it on the rim just to give us a chance. You do lay-up drills the moment you touch a basketball and that was just another one. It’s a different pressure when someone’s chasing your back for the game buzzer, but that’s a lay-up.”
Stephen F. Austin’s upset over top-ranked Duke marks the third time this season that college basketball’s No. 1 team has fallen. Preseason No. 1 Michigan State lost on opening night to then-No. 2 Kentucky. The following week, the newly ranked No. 1 Kentucky lost at home to Evansville, allowing Duke to take over the top spot.
The win snaps Duke’s 150-game nonconference winning streak that dates all the way back to 2000, which was the longest in the nation. It was also reportedly Duke’s first loss to an unranked, non-Power Conference team since losing to Wagner in 1983.