Andre Smith hits three-pointer with 0.5 seconds to play, Eagles win by 2
Winthrop Beats Buzzer, Downs High Point On Smith's Heroics
By Mike Leslie, Sports Anchor/Digital Journalist - email
CONWAY, SC (WinthropEagles.com) —Andre Smith connected on a desperation three-pointer with less than a second left in the game to propel Winthrop to a 62-60 win over High Point in the quarterfinals of the 2014 Big South Conference Championship on Friday at the HTC Center.
Smith's game winner came just after High Point's Adam Weary had put the Panthers up 60-59 with a jumper with 5.2 seconds remaining on the clock. Winthrop inbounded to Smith who drove up the right side of the floor and launched his shot in the face of three defenders. HPU's John Brown took the inbounds pass and missed a shot that came after the buzzer.
With the win, Winthrop, the No. 4 seed in the South Division, improves to 19-12 and stays alive in the tournament and advances to Saturday's semifinals where the Eagles will face the winner of the UNC Asheville-Radford game at 12 noon. High Point, the Northern Division No. 1 seed, drops to 16-14.
Keon Moore led all scorers in the game with 23 points as he connected on 8 of 12 field goals, including three of five from beyond the arc. Smith was the only other Eagle in double figures with 11. Brown, the Big South Player of the Year, was the only Panther in double figures as he finished with 17, including 13 in the second half.
Smith's heroics capped a wild final two minutes. High Point trailed 57-53 with 1:44 remaining when Larry Brown threw down a dunk, but the Panthers would not fold as they cut the deficit to a single point on two occasions. Devante Wallace's three-pointer made it 57-56 at the 1:22 mark. Then after Moore scored on a follow in the lane to push the lead to three points, with 49 ticks left on the clock, Brown made one of two free throws with 28 seconds left to make it a one-point game again.
Adams was fouled with 19 seconds remaining and went to the line for the bonus, but missed the shot to give High Point a chance to claim the lead. Weary, who hit the winning shot against Winthrop earlier in this season, drove from the left wing and pulled up for the go-ahead 15-footer, setting the stage for Adams's game-winner. After a poor shooting first half by both teams, the Eagles and Panthers heated up in the final period. Winthrop shot 62 percent (16-26) in the second half while HPU was almost as good with 56.5 percent (13-23).
The first half was nip-and-tuck throughout as the largest lead by either team was four points on four occasions when Winthrop led by four points. The last four-point lead was at 17-13 when Keon Johnson scored on a layup with 8:49 left in the period. High Point took its second lead of the half when Jorge Perez-Laham converted three free throws after being fouled on a deep three-point attempt that gave the Panthers an 18-17 advantage.
Keon Moore answered with a three to give the lead back to Winthrop at 20-18. There were two ties and three lead changes in the final 3:40 of the period. Winthrop took the last lead with 1:58 remaining when Johnson connected on his first triple of the game to give the Eagles a 24-23 lead at the break.
Neither team shot the ball well in the first half. Winthrop was 8 of 24 (33 pct.) overall and 2-8 from behind the arc while High Point was just 9 of 28 (32.1 pct.). Moore had 11 points in the first half to lead all scorers.
WJZY FOX 46 3501 Performance Rd. Charlotte, NC 28214 Main Number: (704) 398-0046