Duke Blue Devis, the current No.1 seed in the NCAA, suffered a massive upset against Stephen F. Austin. The Lumberjacks have defeated one of the most prominent basketball programs in the USA, and they did it in Durham. In the end, the final result was 85-83 for the guests after overtime.
The hero of the guests was Nathan Bain, who scored a buzzer-beater to silence Cameron Indoor Stadium. It was his 11th point of the event, but it appears that he will remember it forever. A lot of things were going through his mind at the moment when he got the ball.
“I looked up at the clock and saw I had 2.6 seconds, just going as fast as I can to lay it up. Like a layup drill. Prayed it would go in,” Bain said. “I wasn’t sure if the guy was going to foul me or not. Get it on the rim to give us a chance.”
Midway through the first half, nothing indicated that this match might have such an ending. Following Matthew Hurt’s layup, the hosts had a 15-point advantage, 33-18, and it seemed that they are ahead of another routine victory.
However, the visitors bounced back, cutting down the deficit to 45-40 at the break, and indicating that they won’t go down without a fight. And that happened, as Lumberjacks took the lead with 8:09 to go, with Cameron Johnson making both of his free throws.
After that, both teams were trading buckets, and neither had an opportunity to make a notable lead. It seems that the Blue Devils couldn’t handle the pressure at this stage, knowing that they might lose the match, in which they came as massive favorites.
Mike Krzyzewski’s boys were favored by 27.5 points coming into this one. Yet, in the late part of the second half, that wasn’t visible, as Stephen F Austin’s players performed very confidently, going toe to toe with the best team in the nation.
The closing minute of the game was very exciting. Duke had a chance to win, in the regulations, but Tre Jones missed a jumper with four seconds to go, before Cassius Stanley got the offensive board, but missed his chance to score a game-winner.
The overtime saw just six points, and four of them were guests’. Jones was once again inaccurate, some 15 seconds before the end, but the Blue Devils got the rebound. Nations’ leading defense in forcing turnovers was excellent in the closing seconds, and they stole the ball from Duke. After that, Bain went from end to end to make a magnificent result for his team.
“It’s a very difficult loss — it’s also a loss that if we had won, we would not have been deserving of winning,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said.
Since 2000, the Lumberjacks were the first non-ACC team that managed to beat the Blue Devils at Cameron Indoor.
Kevon Harris scored 26 points for the guests and had 4 rebounds and assists each. He was 11 for 19 from the field, and played 40 minutes. Cameron Johnson came in off the bench, to delivered 16 points, while Gavin Kensmil added 15 with 7 boards.
Bain, the game-winner, hit five of his 7 attempts for 11 buckets, and 5 rebounds.
Among the Blue Devils, we had Vernon Carey Jr. with 20 points and 11 boards, 8 for 10 from the field. Tre Jones also had a double-double with 17 points and 12 assists, but he committed 8 turnovers. Cassius Stanley and Matthew Hurt added 15 each.
The Blue Devils went 24 for 40 from the free-throw line, while only 11 for 24 in the second half.
Up next, they face Winthorp at home on Friday, while Stephen F. Austin heads to meet Arkansas State on Sunday.