It was supposed to be a typical nonconference home game for Duke on Tuesday night as it welcomed Stephen F. Austin to Cameron Indoor Stadium. You know, the type of game you’ve seen for nearly 20 straight years where the Blue Devils show off their talent all while showing just how insanely tough it is to go inside that building and even compete as a smaller program.
Well, that didn’t happen. The Lumberjacks, who were 27.5 point underdogs, had different plans.
Stephen F. Austin didn’t care about that and handed Duke its first nonconference loss at home since the year 2000 thanks to a wild final sequence that featured one of the smoothest and easiest buzzer beaters you’ll ever see in overtime courtesy of Nathan Bain.
Sorry if you’re a Duke fan, but that final sequence is just too beautiful.
With things knotted at 83-83 and with Duke in possession during the final seconds, everything felt that we were going to get one of those vintage Blue Devil game-winners at the buzzer where the Cameron Crazies go nuts.
Nope, instead, we got a phenomenal defensive play from Roti Ware down low forcing a loose ball and a heads up play from Gavin Kensmil to find a teammate while sitting on his ass before it turned into the easy layup for Bain.
It’s rare when you get the wide-open layup to beat a team at the buzzer, but against the No. 1 team in the country on their home court? Come on, that’s just a special moment cooked up by the basketball gods.
There’s just something about Duke losing on that court, with everyone in that building right on top of the opposing team and said opposing team silencing that crowd.
Stephen F. Austin’s win marked the biggest upset in college hoops in the past 15 years surpassing Gardner Webb’s win over Kentucky back in 2007.
It wasn’t necessarily a fluke win, either. The Lumberjacks hung around, to say the least, through the first half and went into the break trailing by only five. Then, they didn’t flinch in the second half while shooting over 48% from the field on the night. They also didn’t allow Duke to beat them up on the glass as they were out-rebounded by just a 40-34 mark.
Duke’s biggest problem on the night came at the charity stripe. The Blue Devils got to the line plenty but went just 24-40 from the line, which makes things difficult regardless of the opponent.