Belmont Abbey senior forward Darryl Durham sank two free throws with 0.2 seconds left, giving the Crusaders men's basketball team a 76-75 upset over the 19th-ranked Winston-Salem State Rams this evening at the Wheeler Center. Belmont Abbey moves to 3-3, while the Rams drop to 2-2.
Durham's free throws-the last of his 11 points on the evening-gave the Crusaders their only lead of the second half and the first since being up 4-2 with 17:45 left in the first half.
Belmont Abbey trailed 31-25 at the half and was behind for all but 19:59 of the final period as Durham's free throws capped a 17-8 Abbey run over the final 4:37 after the Crusaders were down by nine, 67-58, with 4:54 to go.
The Crusaders trailed by as many as 12 points in the second half, at 42-30 with 16:42 showing, but the Abbey chopped it down to six just 1:43 later as Jonathon Garrett led an 8-2 run, scoring five of the eight points, while the last three came from Chris Davis, whose successful three-pointer closed the gap to 44-38 with 14:59 to go.
Winston-Salem State absorbed the blow and responded with a 6-0 run to extend its lead back to 12, but a 12-4 Crusader spurt pulled the Abbey to within four at 54-50 with 9:58 to play.
While the Rams continued to answer the Abbey's charges, the Crusaders remained in shooting distance. After a Rams flurry pushed their lead back to nine at 67-58, the Abbey began to make its move, as a 12-6 run pulled the Abbey to within two at 73-71 with 1:06 to play.
The Rams converted a layup on their next trip down the floor, as WyKevin Bazemore sank a running layup with 52 ticks left to extend the lead to 75-71 with 52 seconds left, but Winston-Salem State did not score again.
14 seconds later, on the ensuing Crusaders possession, Justin Kuhlman was run over while attempting a three-point shot. The foul gave him three shots, and he made all of them which closed the deficit to just one at 75-74.
The Rams ran the clock all the way down, looking to set up their offense and work the clock, but with 11 seconds left, Bazemore was charged with his fifth foul after he charged into an Abbey defender.
After a timeout, the Crusaders were down by one point with 11 seconds left and 94 feet away from the basket. On the inbounds play, Kuhlman raced down the court, penetrated into the lane and handed the ball off to Durham. With 1.3 seconds left, Durham went up for the winning layup but was knocked in the head by Tyre Desmore with 0.2 seconds left.
Durham calmly stepped to the line and tied the game with the first free throw, which was followed by a Rams timeout. After the pause, Durham's second attempt hit the bottom of the net, giving the Abbey a 76-75 lead.
The Crusaders called their final timeout to set up their defense, and after the stoppage, the Rams length of the court pass found its mark, but the horn sounded as the ball was touched, ending the game.
Belmont Abbey trailed 31-25 at the half after shooting just 34 percent from the field, including just one of eight from three-point range. The final period was a dramatic turnaround, as the Crusaders connected on 17-26 from the field (64 percent) and sank five of nine from three-point range.
Garrett scored 18 of his 20 points in the second half, making all seven of his field goal attempts and all four from the line. His final line included eight of ten from the field with four rebounds and a steal. Davis finished with 15 points (13 in the second half), Kuhlman totaled 12 and Durham added 11. The Crusaders shot 48 percent from the field and made 14 of 17 from the free throw line.