If there is one phrase in the sports world that rivals the words “Game 7,” that phrase is “buzzer-beater.” Whether it’s Christian Laettner sinking Kentucky in the ’92 Elite 8 or Ray Allen keeping the Heat alive in the 2013 NBA Finals, buzzer-beaters are always exciting, and the few students who took a study break to go watch the Union vs. Auburn-Montgomery game were rewarded when Union’s junior guard Nick Velasquez put one in from the elbow to seal a win for the Bulldogs.
On Thursday, December 8th, Velasquez had five points in the last minute-and-a-half and Union beat the Warhawks, 73-72.
Velasquez’s game-winner came just ten second after AUM’s 5’7″ guard Darrion Taylor knocked down a would-be game winning three. Union’s head coach David Niven tried to bark orders from the other side of the court before the in-bounds pass, but let’s face it, with ten seconds left and no timeouts, it just comes down to the players’ best improv show.
Senior guard Ashanti Day got the ball off the in-bounds and quickly passed it ahead to freshman guard Tray Boyd. Before Velasquez knew it he had the ball a the top of the key with three seconds left.
“Somehow I got the ball,” Velasquez said. “I had a feeling it might go down, but even when I woke this morning I was like, man, that really went in.”
This game also marked the return of Union’s junior forward Charlie Wilson. Wilson was hot right out of the gates in this one, posting up for an easy two on each of Union’s first two possessions. He led the team with 21 points, including going 9-10 from the free throw line.
“[Wilson] has been working really hard trying to get back,” Velasquez said. “We probably wouldn’t have won the game without him.”
Niven was obviously happy they picked up the win, but there is one thing he will need to address in the locker room. When asked what the keys to the game were by EplusTV6’s Alex Northcut before the game, here’s what he had to say:
“Defensively they are difficult to stay in front of. You have to defend their[Auburn-Montgomery’s] guards really well.”
That is one thing Union did not do well against the Warhawks, giving up 14+ threes for the second straight game. The Bulldogs will have to find a way to defend three-point shots moving forward, but this one does feel really good.
Oh, one last thing. If you were one of the people who didn’t go to the this game because you were “studying for finals,” get your priorities straight, man. It’s college basketball season, and you missed a good one Thursday.