The Richmond Register

Sports

February 2, 2014

OVC BASKETBALL: Cosey buzzer beating three gives Colonels win over SEMO

RICHMOND — The Colonels (16-7, 7-3 OVC) picked up a heart-stopping 79-78 win over Southeast Missouri State (12-11, 3-6 OVC) Saturday on a banked-in, half-court three pointer at the buzzer by Glenn Cosey.

“That was the first game winner I’ve ever hit, ever. It’s crazy. It was a big one,” Cosey said. “I just wanted to make sure I got enough air on it to at least reach the rim. But it felt good on the release though. I didn’t think it was going to bank in. I thought it was going to swish, but we’ll take it. We’ll take it.”

Cosey’s shot capped a furious comeback by the Colonels, who trailed 72-62 with 3:57 remaining and had struggled the entire second half to get points against the aggressive Redhawk defense.

With everyone struggling to score, it was Orlando Williams who came off the bench and hit the two biggest shots of his EKU career.

With 3:37 left, Williams hit a three-pointer from the wing — EKU’s first field goal in almost 11 minutes — to make it 72-65. He swished another three pointer at the 3:15 mark to make it 72-68.

On EKU’s next possession, Marcus Lewis made it three in a row when he drained a three from the corner right in front of the Colonels’ bench to get EKU to within 72-70 with 2:41 remaining.

After Tyler Stone put SEMO up 74-70 with two free throws, Lewis threw down a vicious dunk through the arms and body of Stone who had repeatedly blocked Colonels’ shot attempts at the rim in the second half, and EKU trailed 74-72 with 2:01 left.

Tarius Johnson came up huge on defense, picking off a tipped SEMO pass with 1:08 left. Ten seconds later, Johnson tipped in a teammate’s missed shot to get the Colonels even at 74-74.

The final 58 seconds were fast and furious as neither team could stop the other.

Lucus Nutt put SEMO up 76-74 with 39 seconds left.

Cosey tied it once again at 76-76 with two free throws with 26 seconds remaining.

Stone gave the Redhawks the lead 78-76 with a tip-in with just six seconds left, setting up Cosey’s last-second heroics.

Cosey took the inbounds pass and raced upcourt guarded closely by Nutt. He took two steps across mid-court near the sideline and launched the shot, which banked in with .4 seconds left.

After the shot, Cosey ran toward the opposite corner of the floor by the EKU pep band where he was mobbed by his teammates.

“Oh, my God. I could have run 10 miles. I wanted to jump into the stands. I started to go dive into the band. I was just so happy and I heard the crowd and saw my teammates coming, so I just ran to the corner,” Cosey said.

EKU built a 44-37 lead at the half.

But SEMO outscored the Colonels 24-6 to start the second half to take control of the game. The Redhawks made it almost impossible for EKU to score, swatting away multiple shots at the rim when the Colonels did find driving lanes.

EKU managed only three field goals in the second half up to the four-minute mark. All the Colonel’s other points came from the free throw line, mostly by Corey Walden.

That prompted coach Jeff Neubauer to switch to a smaller lineup. Neubauer inserted Williams and Lewis which gave the Colonels a quick five-guard lineup that finally created some problems for the SEMO offense and came up with some big stops down the stretch.

Without the switch, the Colonels probably would never have been in the position for Cosey to perform his last-second heroics.

Neubauer said EKU was fortunate that it worked and they came away with the victory.

“The biggest thing that worked for us down the stretch is we went with a small lineup. We went super small and just tried to gamble,” Neubauer said. “SEMO did a very good job of coming up with a second-half game plan that did affect us. Orlando Williams and Marcus Lewis came up big down the stretch and obviously Glenn hit the game winner. We got very fortunate.”

The shot might have been Cosey’s first game-winner, but Neubauer said the shot is something Cosey works on in every practice, more so than any player he’s ever had.

Neubauer also said he was a little surprised that Cosey took a three because six seconds is plenty of time to get closer.

“I anticipated Glenn attacking the rim. Six seconds is so much time to get the ball from one baseline to the other. I wasn’t expecting him to pull up, especially as deep as he did. But with that being said, we would much rather win than tie,” Neubauer said. “Glenn practices those shots every day. He doesn’t practice banking them, I can’t say that. But he takes more shots from that range than any other player I’ve ever coached. The whole year as he was doing it, I was thinking this better pay off. He certainly hit a big one tonight.”

Cosey and Walden led four players in double figures with 20 points each. Lewis finished with 12 points and Tarius Johnson had ten points.

Williams finished with seven points, Stutz had six points, Isaac McGlone had three points and Deverin Muff added one point.

The Colonels outrebounded the bigger and very physical Redhawks 28-27. EKU shot 43.8 percent from the field and 47.1 percent from behind the three point line.

They were 29-of-36 from the free throw line for 80.6 percent. Walden alone was 13-of-15 from the line.

EKU returns to action Tuesday when they take on Tennessee-Chattanooga in a non-conference game at 7:30 p.m.

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