How do you save a season? You have hands like Desmond Haymon, that's how.
With Oral Roberts looking like they could extend their dwindling lead with 35 seconds remaining, D.J. Jackson got trapped too low on the lane and his only outlet pass was back to the wing on the opposite side.
It would prove a fatal mistake for the Eagles.
Haymon broke on the pass and reached out to tip it ahead of him. He corralled the tip, eased it down the court and laid the ball up. Nikola Gajic grabbed the rebound as the trailer and put in the shot that would give Stephen F. Austin its first lead in almost 30 minutes of game time.
That after leading by 14 points early in the game, a lead they squandered with what Brad Underwood said in the postgame interview was a 3-point happy team.
The Jacks walked away with a 72-69 win in a game where it looked like Oral Roberts was going to walk away with a win and a tie for the conference lead.
It wasn't all poor shot choices that made the Lumberjacks sweat and have to claw back. It was the almost perfect play of Shawn Glover for the Eagles.
There may not be a player in college basketball who gets up in the air faster than Glover. One moment he is on the floor and the next he is high in the air, grabbing rebounds, or shooting, of putting a hand in your face. You didn't blink; he teleported 30 inches high.
The leading scorer in the Southland finished with 27 points and 10 rebounds. He shot 9-for-15 from the floor and sunk eight of his nine free throws, not missing until late when the game was on the line.
That was because SFA went to the hack late, to try and keep Oral Roberts from taking the three and having a chance to tie it. Everyone went to the line. No one could help the Eagles come back again.
Of course none of this might have been possible had it not been for a play much earlier when the tide began to turn. Haymon may have helped put the Jacks ahead but it was Jacob Parker that brought them back into this.
Parker scored 19, but none of those compared to the sequence he led with the Jacks down five with 7:30 to go in the game. The big man from outside Tulsa ran the length of the court and got a big mitt on a Korey Billbury shot attempt that would have extended the lead.
Parker grabbed the board and then led the charge down the court, and positioned himself under the basket to get the pass back from Desmond Haymon, lay it in, and cut the lead down to three.
Oral Roberts would make one shot from the floor during the rest of the game; Stephen F. Austin would win.
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