KANSAS CITY — After grabbing a dagger of an offensive rebound with 22 seconds left in the third overtime of a marathon game against Seattle, Kansas City called a timeout. As a gassed Roos team walked over to huddle, point guard Jahshire Hardnett yelled out something you’d expect to hear to the end of the bench.
“I need a drink!”
And it was more than understandable. The senior had lifted the Roos with a dazzling run in the game’s first overtime, scoring 12 points and drilling a three with 0.1 seconds left to send the game to a second extra period.
Those 12 first overtime points helped Kansas City claw back from a six-point deficit with just over three minutes left. He then kept up the magic in a thrilling game, scoring 18 points over what ultimately was three overtimes, including a stepback jumper that turned out to be the game winner.
Jahshire Hardnett coming up clutch one more time with 40 seconds remaining— Kansas City Men's Basketball (@KCRoosMBB) January 3, 2020
22.7 seconds left in the game now, Roos with the lead and the ball
: https://t.co/zRGk6ESONl#ROOUP | #KCRoos pic.twitter.com/nLX2ar7Kvw
And this all came a game after the senior had drilled a buzzer-beating three to sink South Dakota on the road on Dec. 21.
Hardnett said before the torrid two-game stretch he had hit a few buzzer beaters in high school and one in junior college, but hadn’t yet hit one in Division I. The BYU transfer also said that coming off an injury that forced him to miss two games, and playing through cramps on Thursday night, made the dramatic whirlwind feel that much better.
“It definitely boosted my confidence,” he said. “Now I feel I need the ball at the end of every game now. I’m sure Coach is going to make the right play and read he sees at the time, but it’s definitely given me confidence.”
The flair for making tough shots in big moments is not something that has surprised his coach.
“In practices, we pride ourselves on our defense and when the shot clock comes down and he makes these shots, I tell guys just go shake his hand,” first-year Kansas City coach Billy Donlon said. “He’s just one of those players that has a high amount of confidence and belief in his ability to make critical shots.”
Those critical shots have helped the Roos generate momentum as they start conference play in a league that seems very much open behind traditional heavyweight New Mexico State.