Four seconds left in regulation.
A Slippery Rock foul put Notre Dame College at the free throw line, and Larenz Thurman put both shots through the bottom of the net and pushed the Falcons’ lead to two points.
Timeout Slippery Rock.
Four seconds on the clock. Slippery Rock faced a fate similar to last season when former Falcons’ forward Will Vorhees hit a go-ahead basket in the finals seconds.
Insert Jared Armstrong. The senior guard capped off a 20 point night with a game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer, giving Slippery Rock a 78-76 victory.
Armstrong took the inbound pass and sprinted the length of the court to fire off an NBA-range 3-pointer over two Falcons’ defenders.
The back and forth contest featured 12 lead changes down the stretch before Armstrong’s eventual game-winner.
Slippery Rock (1-0, 0-0 PSAC) entered the half time intermission with a 32-31 lead, led by senior forward Will Robinson, Jr.’s 12 point, eight rebound half.
The transfer forward made his official debut for Slippery Rock, finishing with a team-high 25 points and 17 rebounds. His 17 boards led all Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference players during Friday’s slate of games.
Through the first half, Robinson and Armstrong carried Slippery Rock offensively. The senior duo scored 21 of SRU’s 32 first half points.
The duo combined for 24 of Slippery Rock’s 46 second half points. Robinson shot four of five from the field, five of eight from the free throw line and put in 13 more points. Armstrong only shot four of ten from the field, but the 5’10” guard connected on three of his five attempts from behind the three point line, including the game’s most important shot.
Following a Robinson layup around the midpoint of the second half, Slippery Rock had built a 10 point cushion over the Falcons. Notre Dame would fight back, taking a one point lead with a minute left in the game.
Slippery Rock and Notre Dame traded leads over the final minute before Armstrong’s 3-pointer as time expired and ended the game.
Senior guard Donovan Walker scored 12 points, the only other Slippery Rock player in double figures, while sophomore forward Will Bounds and freshman forward Revelinio Tholel both chipped in five points.
Slippery Rock rebounded from a poor showing from the field in the first half, 14 of 33 and just one of 11 from three point range, to shoot above 50% from the field and behind the arc in the second half.
Holding advantages in rebounds, with Robinson grabbing half of Slippery Rock’s 35 boards, steals, blocks, points off turnovers and bench points, SRU rode the performances of Robinson and Armstrong, complemented by scoring from every Rock player who suited up besides freshman Lashon Lindsey, to the first win of the season.
Unlike last season, Slippery Rock was on the winning side of a game-winning shot.
The Joe Retton Classic continues against Fairmont State University Saturday night in a reunion for SRU head coach Ian Grady.
Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. at the Joe Retton Arena.