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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Wise nails buzzer beater for OT win

    Michael Ignatov
    Michael Ignatov / Arizona Daily Wildcat University of Arizona meets Lipscomb in an NCAA men’s basketball game at McKale Center, Tucson, Ariz., Dec. 21, 2009. Arizona went on to win 83-82 on a Nic Wise three-point buzzer beater in overtime.

    Christmas came early for Nic Wise Monday night.

    With 4.7 seconds left in overtime, Lipscomb center Adnan Hodzic stepped to the line with his team up 81-80. He made his first free throw, giving him a game-high 34 points. But he missed the second shot.

    The ball fell into the hands of UA forward Solomon Hill, who launched the ball downcourt to sophomore Kyle Fogg. With a career-high 18 points on 5-for-7 shooting, including 4-for-5 from beyond the arc, Fogg could have taken the shot.

    Instead, with a quick bounce on the right wing, Fogg passed the ball to his left. With his toes dangerously near the 3-point line, Wise caught the ball and fired it off just as the buzzer sounded.

    The ball tickled the twine and Wise and his teammates took off, running in celebration off the court and down the corridor of McKale Center.

    “”I saw Foggy was about to shoot it,”” said Wise, who scored a team-high 26 points on 6-for-14 shooting. “”He was about to shoot one of those little desperation launches, and I yelled his name, and luckily he saw me and threw it. I just kept it up and threw it up. I don’t know how it went in.””

    Fogg, half-joking, said he made the pass to Wise because there was simply too much time left for him to shoot the ball.

    “”What happened was, so I made a strong one-foot jump, and I looked at the clock, and I saw it was two seconds, and I was just like ‘Oh, man, there’s just way too much time on the clock to shoot this,’ said Fogg, sitting in between Wise and freshman Momo Jones, who were both laughing as the story progressed. “”And I just hear Nic just yell ‘Foggy,’ so I just looked at him, threw it, and he made a great shot, and we won the game.””

    But it wasn’t so simple.

    The game officials—Chris Rastatter, Ruben Ramos and Kurt Walker—took about three minutes to review the shot on the screen at the scorer’s table. They were checking to see if the shot went off in time, and if Wise had stepped on the line.

    If Wise hadn’t shot the ball in time, the Bisons would have won. If the ball did go off in time, but Wise had stepped on the line, the game would have gone into double overtime.

    “”I heard the buzzer sound after it left my hands,”” Wise said. “”I felt like I was one the line, honestly, but you can never tell when it happens that quick.””

    Finally, the basket was confirmed as a 3-pointer. Arizona (5-5) won 83-82.

    The buzzer beater was the first ever, at any level of basketball, for Wise. It was also a milestone night for the senior as a scorer in a Wildcat uniform.

    With a minute left in regulation, Wise stole the ball at midcourt—one of his game-high four steals—and scored a layup. The Wildcats went ahead 67-64, and the basket was Wise’s 18th and 19th points of the game, giving him his 1,000th and 1,001st career points as an Arizona player.

    When asked if he knew that he had just become the 44th player in program history to reach the 1,000-point club, Fogg and Jones chipped in.

    “”That’s kinda tight. That’s big time,”” Fogg said.

    “”Go ahead a smile,”” Jones said.

    Wise did just that.

    “”I’m just one of many at this great program,”” Wise said, beaming from ear to ear.

    Lipscomb forward Brian Wright nailed a 3-pointer to tie the game at 69 with 1.5 seconds left in regulation, sending the game into overtime. It was the third overtime game in 10 games for Arizona.

    Jones, who scored just 3 points on 1-for-5 shooting in regulation, caught on fire in overtime. He sank three 3-pointers in a row, giving him 12 points and Arizona a 78-73 lead with 2:40 to go.

    But Lipscomb (4-6), a school from Nashville, Tenn., never let up, going up 32 seconds left, and never surrendering until Wise’s final shot.

    In fact, the game belonged to the Bisons for much of the last 10 minutes of the first half and much of the second half, as they went up by as many as 8 points. The Wildcats scraped back slowly, causing 11 ties in the game, and much anticipation toward the end of the game.

    “”Everybody was like, ‘Oh, Lipscomb. Who is Lipscomb?'”” Jones said. “”They’re a very good team with a lot of good players. They showed that tonight.””

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