Stephen F. Austin pulled off a stunning upset over No. 1 Duke on Tuesday, capturing a 85-83 overtime victory in an instant classic.
The Lumberjacks, who entered the game as 27.5-point underdogs, clawed back from a 15-point second-half deficit to shock a star-studded Blue Devils team. That comeback was capped with an improbable final play.
With both teams tied at 83 in overtime, on what could have been the last possession of the game, Duke’s Tre Jones looked inside for Matthew Hurt for the go-ahead score. His errant pass was knocked away and stolen by Lumberjacks forward Gavin Kensmil, setting up a wild breakaway attempt in the closing seconds. Kensmil fed the ball to Nathan Bain, who sped down the court after the loose-ball scramble and laid the ball in as the buzzer sounded for the win.
The full sequence is below:
Said Bain of the play: “I saw my teammate grab it and I looked up the clock. We had about 2.6 seconds, I was like, ‘I gotta get on my horse.’ Then nobody saw me so I’m just trying to go as fast as I can to lay it up, like a lay-up drill. I could feel the dude on my back, so I laid it up and just prayed it’d go in.
“I was confident. I just wasn’t sure if the dude was gonna foul me at the end. I wanted to get it on the rim just to give us a chance. You do lay-up drills the moment you touch a basketball and that was just another one. It’s a different pressure when someone’s chasing your back for the game buzzer, but that’s a lay-up.”
Stephen F. Austin’s upset over top-ranked Duke marks the third time this season that college basketball’s No. 1 team has fallen. Preseason No. 1 Michigan State lost on opening night to then-No. 2 Kentucky. The following week, the newly ranked No. 1 Kentucky lost at home to Evansville, allowing Duke to take over the top spot.
The win snaps Duke’s 150-game nonconference winning streak that dates all the way back to 2000, which was the longest in the nation. It was also reportedly Duke’s first loss to an unranked, non-Power Conference team since losing to Wagner in 1983.