Will Adams saved his best for last. The 6-foot-4 forward banked in a half-court buzzer-beater as McMurry University shocked Division I-member University of Texas at San Antonio, 73-71, Monday night.
However, there was only one thing on Adams' mind: Redemption.
"I airballed and bricked back-to-back free throws (four minutes remaining in the second half), which could have cost the team," Adams said. "I'm just happy I was able to make up for it. I waited my turn and was patience. When it went in the first thing I thought was 'thank you, thank you, thank, you.'"
After Adams (Philadelphia, Pa./Baltimore Community College) missed the consecutive-free throws, McM head coach Clif Carroll quickly got into his ear.
"I told him to stay with us and that we were going to need him. And boy, did we ever," Carroll said. "We definitely got a kiss from the basketball gods tonight. This is a flagship win for a Division II program. Being in Division II allows us to have athletes to compete at this level."
The final score was indicative of the pace of the game. There were a total of seven lead changes and it was defensive execution that played a key role.
"We got some great defensive stops and really executed our defense," said Carroll, whose War Hawks outrebounded the Road Runners by a 36 to 28 margin. "We had players rotate to the right spot and rebound the ball. We were warriors on the boards and got every big rebound."
Quietly Brandon Golden finished with a team-high 20 points and 10 rebounds for his first double-double of the year. It was his play at the charity stripe that made the difference. Golden (Austin, Texas/Coastal Bend College) finished the night 8-for-10 for the free-throw line, including nailing consecutive attempts at the 3:56-mark to keep the War Hawks within striking distance.
"Brandon played great and he was clutch," Carroll said. "To win games you must make your free throws and Brandon was able to do that. He's a special talent and it's going to be fun to see him grow."
In the first half the War Hawks relied on the deep ball. As a team the War Hawks were 6-for-11 from behind the arc.
Thiago Randazzo (Brasilla, Brazil/Impact Academy) scored 13 of his 15 points in the first half, including going 3-for-4 from behind the arc.
Kourtney Goff (Rochester, N.Y./Southern Illinois University) finished with 17 points on 5-for-7 shooting from the field. He also was 7-for-9 from the free-throw line.
Devon Agusi led UTSA (0-3) with a game-high 23 points.
The War Hawks (3-0) return to action Nov. 29 and play host to Angelo State University at 4 p.m.
Information provided by McMurry athletics department.