Dia's free throws with .1 left give SMU men wild second-round CIT victory
The SMU Mustangs defeated the Jacksonville Dolphins 63-62 in the second round of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament (CIT) at Moody Coliseum on Saturday.
UNIVERSITY PARK - The SMU men's basketball team's 63-62 win Saturday over Jacksonville in the second round of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament took postseason madness to another level.
To just plain craziness.
What didn't happen? The Mustangs lost a 21-point, first-half lead – and a 17-point lead with 11 minutes remaining - and then came up with mouth-dropping, and controversial, plays at the end to win it and advance to play at Northern Iowa on Monday in the quarterfinals.
Thank St. Stephen's. That's the name of the play SMU (19-14) used to save the day, down one, with .8 seconds left. Senior Collin Mangrum waited ... and ... waited to inbound the ball from near midcourt as his teammates set screens, a long-bodied Dolphin player blocking his way. At the last moment, star forward Papa Dia's man left him under the basket and Mangrum launched the ball into the post. Delwan Graham returned in time to be whistled for a foul as Dia went up and missed a layup and time expired.
Dia, who led all scorers with 24 points but was 2-of-7 from the free throw line before the final shots, drilled both free throws for the victory after officials put .1 seconds back on the clock.
"A lot of stuff came to my head," Dia said. " 'Please God, help me make these.' I kept on repeating it in my head. When I stepped to the line for some reason my mom's picture flashed in my eyes. That gave me confidence."
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