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Though 0.7 seconds isn’t a lot of time, it was all the California State University, Sacramento men’s basketball team needed to beat Weber State University 78-75 in a bizarre finish in overtime Saturday. The loss was the first for the Wildcats in seven games.
“I thought we really battled hard in the second half,” said WSU head coach Randy Rahe. “Obviously, coming down the stretch, we made a couple of mistakes there. A lot of things were going in a close game, and you have to give Sacramento State credit. They beat us.”
Senior Davion Berry led the Wildcats with a career-high 29 points, including a 3-pointer in the final second of overtime to tie the game at 75. But junior Dylan Garrity threw up a prayer from 75 feet away, and it was answered as time expired.
“To be honest with you, I wasn’t sure if I got the shot off in time,” Garrity said. “As soon as I saw it go in, it was a very surreal moment. I got tackled by everyone and was sitting on the bottom of the dog pile.”
The Wildcats started out cold, missing their first four shots. The Hornets had a high shooting percentage to start the game. They made eight of their first 12 shots, pushing their lead up to eight points midway through the half.
Berry began to heat up late in the first half, and that sparked the Wildcats to go on another run. Holding the Hornets without a field goal for nearly six minutes, the Wildcats chipped the CSUS lead from eight down to one.
The Hornets made a buzzer-beater to go into the half with a 32-29 lead.
Mikh McKinney of CSUS led all scorers with 14 points in the first half. He also had three rebounds and four assists. Tresnak led the Wildcats with 12 points on 5-6 shooting. Berry had nine points and three rebounds.
The Wildcats tied the game up on the first possession of the second half. Jeremy Senglin hit another 3-pointer. Berry gave the Wildcats their first lead of the game on their next possession when he hit two free throws.
The lead went back and forth early in the half. There were seven lead changes in the first nine minutes of the half.
The Hornets then went on a 7-0 run midway through the second half, pushing their lead to 52-46. But the Wildcats responded with a 12-2 run of their own over the next four minutes to take the lead, 58-54.
The Hornets tied the game at 58 on their next two possessions. The teams then traded buckets. Both teams showed urgency in the final minutes.
The Wildcats had three open looks, but they all hit the back of the iron. They got three consecutive offensive rebounds, but still could not put themselves on top.
The Hornets had the final possession with the game tied at 60. The Wildcats played tough defense, and CSUS couldn’t get a shot off, which sent the game to overtime.
The game remained tied in overtime with two minutes left. The Wildcats took a one-point lead with 45 seconds to go before committing a turnover that led to a transition layup. The Wildcats had the ball with 29 seconds and Berry drew a foul, which upset the CSUS coach, causing him to get a technical foul.
Berry had a chance to put the Wildcats up three with four free throws, but he missed the first two. He hit the last two to give the Wildcats the lead with 15 seconds.
Berry got a steal on the next possession and tried to call a timeout, but the Wildcats were out of timeouts and were charged with a technical. Rahe, trying to talk to the referee, was caught too far onto the court, resulting in another technical. The Hornets hit all four to get a three-point lead.
“We are not in that game if it weren’t for Dev Berry,” Rahe said. “It was a heat of the moment. He knew right after he called (the timeout) that we didn’t have any. The natural instinct in that situation is to call it, and then he immediately tried to take it back. There were a couple of heat-of-the-moment plays there.”
The Wildcats had the ball with seven seconds left. Berry took the ball, juked the defender, then rose up three feet behind the 3-point line and drained the shot.
With 0.7 seconds left, the game looked like it would go into double overtime until Garrity threw up a three-quarter court shot that was nothing but net, giving the Hornets the upset win.
“Cody (Demps) did a great job of quickly inbounding the ball; I let it go, and God did the rest,” Garrity said. “I hit a buzzer-beater once before as a kid, but nothing like this shot. This was against the top team in the conference, and a huge win for us.”
The Wildcats will return home this week to face the University of North Dakota on Thursday. Tipoff will be at 7 p.m. at the Dee Events Center.