Tied with four-year university Sewanee with just 1.5 seconds remaining on the clock, All-Region and All-District sophomore Alex Miller hit a 50-footer at the buzzer to stun the visiting Tigers, 66-63, in Rossville.
The final two minutes was neck and neck on the Rossville Athletic Complex (R.A.C.) hardwood Monday night as the Cats were fighting off Sewanee as they tried to steal a road win against the NJCAA program.
Miller had missed a chance to put the Bobcats up by three with 10 seconds left after missing a pair of free throws, but freshman Hunter Ivester would grab the rebound off the second miss, drawing a foul an converting 1 of 2 shots to push the lead to two.
Sewanee would drive the length of the court with Bryan Beviacqua drawing a foul and making both shots to knot the game at 63, forcing GNTC to call timeout in order to set up a final attempt to avoid overtime.
With guards slashing back and forth across the hardwood, and the Sewanee defense matching them stride for stride, the pass went to the 6-foot-5 Miller, who took one step and launched a shot from four feet behind the timeline.
"I've hit a three-pointer late before, but never from half-court," said a grinning Miller, who finished with 12 points on the night. "I've hit them before in practice but never like that. Man, the ball felt like it weighed 50 pounds."
“It was our fourth option in the play," said Bobcats head coach David Stephenson. “He hits those long shots often in our practice sessions, and I really felt like he had a shot at it before he put it up."
Ivester would lead all scoring with 17 points on the night while adding six rebounds and five steals. Leo Born would lead the Tigers with 14 points in the loss.
"We came out slow tonight, but we really came out in the end and did what we needed to do," said freshman Trae Covington, who threw down a thunderous dunk in the final three minutes to help set the tone for GNTC’s final push. “After Coach talked to us at the half, we turned things up. We got a fire in our belly just like he said we needed to do. Getting the dunk was nice tonight. I hope it helped the team."
The Bobcats (2-4) will travel to Crown College (Tenn.) on Tuesday for another non-region game with a four-year program. NJCAA Region XVII play begins Jan. 5 versus Southern Crescent Tech in Rome.