Georgia Northwestern’s Miller Drops 51-Foot Jumper To Drop Sewanee, 66-63 at The R.A.C.
(The R.A.C., Rossville, Georgia) – Down eight points with four minutes to play, the freshman-heavy Bobcats of Georgia Northwestern dug deep and clawed back to one of the more amazing finishes in program history.
The final two minutes was neck and neck on the Rossville Athletic Complex (R.A.C.) hardwood Monday night as the Cats were fighting off Sewanee as they tried to steal a road win against the NJCAA program.
A thunderous dunk in traffic in the final three minutes from freshman Trea Covington (LaFayette) helped set the tone for the final push from Georgia Northwestern.
“We came out slow tonight and we really came out in the end and did what we needed to do,” said Covington. “After the coach talking to us at the half, we turned things up. We got a fire in our belly just like he said we needed to do. Getting the dunk was nice tonight. Hope it helped the team.”
With ten seconds to go and the Cats holding on to a one-point lead, sophomore All-Region and All-District standout Alex Miller (Gordon Central) went to the line to shoot two. However, he would miss both.
He would redeem himself moments later.
A quick offensive board from freshman Hunter Ivester off of the Miller miss would put the Trion native on the line, as well. After hitting one of two, Sewanee would have to drive the length of the court for a chance to tie or win.
With 1.5 seconds remaining, Sewanee’s Bryan Beviacqua would get fouled and drain both shots from the charity stripe to knot the game at 63-all.
Georgia Northwestern would call timeout and draw up one final play to try to avoid overtime.
“It was our fourth option in the play,” said Georgia Northwestern Men’s Head Basketball Coach David Stephenson. With guards slashing back and forth across the 94-feet of hardwood with defense running stride for stride, the in-bounds pass went to Miller.
With just 1.5 seconds remaning, the 6-foot-5 Miller would turn, take one step and fire from four feet beyond half-court to drain a 51-foot three-pointer to secure the home win in dramatic fashion, 66-63.
“I’ve hit a three-pointer late before, but never from half-court,” said a grinning Miller. “I’ve hit them before in practice but never like that. Man, the ball felt like it weighed 50 pounds.”
Stephenson says Miller has hit that shot before in practice. “He hits those long shots often in our practice sessions. I really felt like he had a shot at it before he put it up.”
Ivester would lead all scoring with 17 points on the night. The freshman Cats guard would also pull down six rebounds and five steals. Leo Born would lead the Tigers with 14 points in the loss.
“I didn’t know what to think. It will be a changing moment for us,” said freshman guard Tavish Reynolds (Sonoraville). “We really came out in the second half and just simply stopped playing scared and started playing how we prepare to play for every game.”
The Cats (2-4) will travel to Crown College (TN) on November 27 for another non-region game with a four-year program. Georgia Northwestern’s NJCAA Region XVII play begins January 5 versus Southern Crescent Tech in Rome, Georgia.
Georgia Northwestern (66) – Covington 6, Cotton 4, Hunter Ivester 17, Bud Todd 11, Alex Miller 12, Bostic 3, Robinson 2, Reynolds 7, Olsen 2, Johnson 2.
Sewanee (63) – Arnold 2, Beviacqua 9, McKenzie 6, Abeles, Downey 8, Byron Turner 12, Leo Born 14, Hitchcock 2, Heatherly 8.
Halftime Score: 26-24, Sewanee