Anatomy of a thriller in Davidson's double OT win

dscott@charlotteobserver.comMarch 7, 2012 

— Davidson's 93-91 double-overtime victory Monday against Western Carolina for the Southern Conference basketball tournament championship will go down as one of the most compelling games in league history.

Here's a closer look at the final minutes of regulation and the two overtimes:

Regulation

2:47: Forward Jake Cohen hits a jumper that gives the Wildcats a 74-61 lead, their biggest of the game. Davidson has rallied from a 12-point deficit in the first half - a 25-point swing. "For us to have come back from that far back was remarkable," Cohen would say later.

2:00: The Wildcats make it to the 2-minute mark with a double-digit lead, although Western Carolina's Tawaski King hits two free throws to cut it to 76-66.

1:14: After Davidson's JP Kuhlman, misses a 3-pointer, the Catamounts' James Sinclair quickly hits a 3-pointer and it is 76-69. The crowd of 6,049 - about two-thirds pro-Western - has come to life.

40 seconds: Western gets the ball back after Kuhlman misses a free throw. Trey Sumler makes a 3-pointer, making it 76-72. Catamounts coach Larry Hunter calls timeout.

20 seconds: Western's Harouna Mutombo steals the ball from Cohen and gets it to Sumler. He hits another 3-pointer, cutting the lead to 76-75.

19 seconds: Cole immediately fouls Davidson's Nik Cochran, who gives the Wildcats their first points in two minutes by making both free throws. Wildcats lead 78-75.

11 seconds: Cochran can't get out of the way of Cole and fouls him as Cole launches a shot from the corner. It misses, but there is a question about whether it was a 2- or 3-pointer. Referee Ted Valentine indicates it was a 3. Cole makes all three free throws and it's tied 78-78.

4 seconds: Cochran drives to the basket but is stripped by Sumler. Regulation ends 78-78.

First overtime

4:29: Western's King makes two free throws, giving his team an 80-78 edge. It's the Catamounts' last lead of the game.

2:16: Davidson's De'Mon Brooks finishes a three-point play and the Wildcats lead 84-80.

21 seconds: After Mutombo makes two free throws, tying it at 86, he steals the inbounds pass. The ball ends up in Cole's hands under the basket, but he somehow misses a layup that would have given the Catamounts the lead. Cohen rebounds and Davidson calls timeout.

One second: The Wildcats get the shot they want to win when Brooks takes a short jumper in the lane. The ball bounces around the rim, hangs there for a split second, then falls away. "Oh yeah, I thought it was in," said Brooks.

Instead, the first overtime ends 86-86.

Second overtime

1:24: Cohen fouls out and is replaced by backup forward Clint Mann. King hits two more free throws and it's tied 91-91.

1:04: The Wildcats get what would be their winning points when Mann, using a perfectly set pick by Brooks, drives the baseline and dunks. "Clint went in there like a man and threw it home," said coach Bob McKillop. Davidson leads 93-91.

14 seconds: After Mutombo misses a jumper, Davidson can clinch the victory on its next possession. This time, however, Brooks shoots an air ball. Western Carolina rebounds and Hunter calls timeout, his team down by two.

5 seconds: The Catamounts elect to go for the win rather than go inside and draw a foul (Western made all eight of its free throws in the two overtimes). Cole's deep three hits the back of the iron.

Mann rebounds. The buzzer sounds.

Scott: 704-358-5889

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