by Caitlin F. McCarthy
The Sewanee Men’s basketball team, led by head coach Bubba Smith and assistant coach Bradley Pierson, traveled all the way to Arkansas, ready to stomp on the perhaps misnamed Hendrix “Warriors.”
With a relatively uneventful first half, the matchup on February 2 between Sewanee and Hendrix took a lively turn for the second half with the Tigers leading 38-31. An astounding 20 of these 38 points were scored in a mere 20 minutes and all by guard Jorden Williams (C’17). While the Warriors tried ardently to come back, forwards Keshonn Carter and Seth Brown scored back-to-back layups. At the 17:16 time mark, Sewanee was up 45-35. The Tigers spent the next 12 minutes working diligently and successfully to retain their lead. At this point, the Warriors had long tired of their beat down on their home court. Starting with a simple layup, they began a lead that threatened the Tiger’s projected win. With a mere 43 seconds left in the game, the Warriors were up by a single basket, 66-65. Coach Bubba Smith quickly called a timeout, and after talking to his players, the Tigers returned to the court, motivated, determined, and hungry for the win.
Guard-forward Leo Born (C’16) sprinted down the court, thrusting the ball into the air where it narrowly missed. Born, not one to accept defeat, got his own rebound and was heavily fouled. There were 21 seconds left as he stood at the free throw line, feeling the weight of the game on his shoulders. He shoots…he missed. Panic swept through the Tigers’ veins. Born looked around at his teammates, realigned, arched his arms, and shot the ball through the air. As every player, coach, and fan attentively watched, the ball went through the net. The game was tied, 66-66.
Hendrix proceeded to miss a layup at the buzzer, and the two teams went into overtime. Guard-forward Marcellus Caldwell (C’15) started the extra period with a sick shot. Hendrix returned with a shot of their own. The teams continued to go back and forth in this fashion, with the score being tied again at 71-71.
Williams (C’17) passed the ball through the air to Caldwell who made another shot. Mere seconds later, guard Matt Tome (C’16) made both free throw shots. As the clock wound down, Williams made yet another two points with only 5 seconds left. The matchup finally ended with a final score of 77-71 as the Tigers won on the Warriors’ battlefield.