Down by a point, with no timeouts left, the Slippery Rock men’s basketball team had the length of the court to travel in just over five seconds.
Having fought all the way back from a 20 point deficit just over halfway through the second half, Slippery Rock (8-8, 4-6 PSAC) was in danger of squandering a 23-0 run. Not if senior guard Donovan Walker had anything to say about it.
Junior guard Deontae Robertson watched Millersville (8-8, 5-5 PSAC) drain both of its free throws to inch back ahead and grabbed the ball for the inbound. Launching a desperation heave down the court, which ended up in the hands of senior forward Micah Till, precious seconds drained from the clock.
When Till’s desperation 3-pointer missed the mark, blocked before it could reach the mark, Walker darted through bodies in the paint and gently kissed the ball off the backboard and into the hoop for a buzzer-beating win.
Mobbed by his teammates after taking the shot, Slippery Rock walked off the court with an 81-81 win over Millersville on Wednesday, Jan. 15 at the Morrow Field House.
Led by the duo of Till and senior forward Will Robinson, Jr. in the second half, which included eight points from Robinson and seven from Till during the 23-0 run, Slippery Rock erased a 39-32 halftime deficit and the eventual 66-46 second-half deficit.
Despite shooting just 23% from 3-point range, 18% in the second half, Slippery Rock was able to dominate Millersville on the glass. A 41-23 advantage on the glass led to a 15-7 advantage for Slippery Rock in second-chance points, which Till took advantage of from multiple and-one baskets.
Millersville outshot Slippery Rock from the field and beyond the arc (51% to 48% and 45% to 23%, respectively), SRU capitalized from the free throw line, especially in the second half, to shoot 20 of 26 from the stripe.
SRU: Till had his best effort of the season, one reminiscent of his first two seasons at Slippery Rock, and led the team with 28 points. He also grabbed five rebounds, had two steals and one block.
Robinson posted a near double double with 21 points and nine rebounds. Walker posted a 10 point game with two assists, three rebounds and two steals.
MU: Khari Williams led Millersville with 21 points while playing the entire game. Justin Nwosu chipped in 18 points, Ryan Davis recorded 13 points and James Sullivan added 11 on a night of percent shooting from beyond the arc.
SRU: Slippery Rock improves to 8-8 on the season and 4-6 in the conference with the win in the last Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference crossover of the season.
Slippery Rock has now won the last four meetings against Millersville and only lost one of the last eight contests. With the win over Millersville, SRU enters PSAC-West play on a high note.
MU: Millersville drops to 8-8 on the season and 5-5 in the conference with the loss.
Slippery Rock will be back in action Saturday, Jan. 18 in Johnstown, Pa. for a PSAC-West contest with Pitt-Johnstown. Tipoff is scheduled for 3:00 p.m.