March 23, 2009
PEORIA, Ill. - Junior Johnathon Jones made the go ahead basket with 0.9 seconds left in the game, but Bradley's Chris Roberts shot a prayer from 75 feet that was answered as it banked in to lift the Braves (20-14) over the Golden Grizzlies (23-13) at the buzzer, 76-75, in the quarterfinals of the inaugural CollegeInsider.com Tournament on Monday night inside Carver Arena.
"We really played a great basketball game," said OU coach Greg Kampe. "We missed free throws, and that was the key. We missed several free throws in the final 10 minutes and instead of having a six or seven-point lead, we were up two."
Senior Erik Kangas led the offensive attack with 23 points. Sophomore Keith Benson came close to a double-double with 20 points and eight rebounds, while sophomore Will Hudson added 11 points and nine boards. Jones finished with 12 assists and seven points.
Senior Dan Waterstradt scored eight points off the bench for OU. Four Bradley players were in double figures, led by sophomore Sam Maniscalco's 20 points. Senior Theron Wilson tallied a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds, while Roberts had 16 points and junior Dodie Dunson scored 12 for the Braves.
The Golden Grizzlies looked like they had control of the game through the first 10 minutes, leading by 11 points, but Bradley used a 14-4 run to take its second lead of the game, 26-25, with five minutes left until halftime. The Grizzlies regained the lead in the final minute of the half and took a one-point advantage into intermission, 36-35.
With 2:39 left in the game and Oakland clinging to a two-point lead, Benson delivered a huge old fashioned three-point play to extend the Golden Grizzlies lead to five, 71-66.
After Kangas split a pair of free throws with just over a minute, BU's Sam Maniscalco drilled a big 3-pointer from the top of the key to bring the Braves back within two points, 73-71. The Braves then came up with a big steal with 32.7 seconds left and had a chance to tie or take the lead.
Maniscalco then tied the game with 22.7 seconds left on a layup to set up the Golden Grizzlies with one last chance to win the game with 18.4 seconds left on the clock. After the timeout, OU ran the clock down to 3.3 seconds and burned its final timeout. The call was a lob to Jones and he connected to put Oakland ahead 75-73.
What happened next was heartbreak for Grizzly fans as Roberts caught the ball, took two steps and let one go from 75 feet, which went in, all in 0.9 seconds.
The Golden Grizzlies end the season with 23 wins, second most in program history and most since moving to Division I. Oakland also set a new school record with 14 straight home wins and will carry on that winning streak into next season.