Northeast Conference basketball players haven’t shown much concern for the cardiac health of their fans lately.
In a span of just one week, three games went down to the final buzzer and the craziness doesn’t end there.
Two of the teams involved in these dramatic finishes had the opportunity to experience life on both sides of a buzzer-beating shot. Within the last seven days, Saint Francis U and Sacred Heart fans enjoyed the thrill of a buzzer-beating victory as well as suffered the agony of a buzzer-beating defeat.
It all started on January 16 in Loretto where it looked like Sacred Heart had just stolen a last-second victory.
Jordan Allen laid the ball up and in to give the visiting Pioneers a 78-77 lead with 7.4 seconds to play and Saint Francis U needing to go the whole length of the floor.
Saint Francis’ Greg Brown flew up the court and put up a layup attempt well before the horn would sound.
But the shot didn’t fall.
With the ball, along with the Red Flash’s chances of winning, caroming off the rim and falling toward the floor, SFU senior Earl Brown put on his Superman cape and delivered a #SCTop10-caliber moment.
Quickly snatching the ball out of mid-air, Brown awkwardly attempted a left-handed layup.
As he fell to the ground, the shot fell through the net.
Saint Francis U 79, Sacred Heart 78.
Two days later, Saint Francis U was facing St. Francis Brooklyn in the Stokes Center.
The visiting Terriers owned an 11-point bulge with 7:57 remaining in regulation, but the Red Flash stormed their way back into the lead. Greg Brown sank a pair of free throws that gave SFU a 59-58 advantage with 7.5 ticks to go.
The SFBK inbounds pass went to the Terriers’ best ball-handler – Brent Jones. The senior point guard raced up the right side of the floor and fired up a right-handed layup.
The shot was too strong and bounced off the left side of the basket where Chris Hooper was “Johnny on the Spot.”
Hooper snared the uncontested rebound and put it back as the buzzer sounded. The shot was good, but the officials initially ruled it late.
If there ever is an appropriate time to enlist the aid of video replay, a bang-bang call at the buzzer is probably it.
After going to the monitor for an official review, the call was reversed and Hooper’s bucket counted.
St. Francis Brooklyn 60, Saint Francis U 59.
“We told our guys that there is a fine line between winning and losing, but the gap in emotions is much wider,” SFU head coach Rob Krimmel said during a postgame interview.
Fast forward to January 22.
Six days earlier, Sacred Heart went from elation to devastation in a matter of seconds.
Now, facing Fairleigh Dickinson in a featured game on Fox College Sports Atlantic, it appeared as if Sacred Heart was in for another heartbreaker.
Steve Glowiak’s free throw gave SHU a three-point edge with 00:25 remaining in regulation, but Darian Anderson nailed a triple at the other end 11 seconds later.
Cane Broome couldn’t convert a last-second jumper, and the game, which seemed to be in Sacred Heart’s control at one point, was heading to overtime.
The Pioneers took a two-point lead with 2:24 remaining in the extra session and held that edge down the stretch until…
Fairleigh Dickinson’s Darian Anderson tried to make himself a candidate for SportsCenter’s Top 10.
With FDU trailing by one, Anderson sank a running jumper from the right side of the lane as the horn sounded. But did it leave his hand in time? Was Sacred Heart again on the short end of an improbable finish?
Play-by-play announcer Paul Dottino thought so (listen to his call below), but, after an official review, the bucket was deemed “no good.”
There would be no Heart-break for Anthony Latina’s Pioneers on this night.
Sacred Heart 78, Fairleigh Dickinson 77.