Game-winning 3 lifts USC Upstate to Big South tournament semifinals
March is synonymous with college basketball, and USC Upstate's thrilling win got the month off to an incredible start.
Jordan Gainey banked in a 3-pointer in the game's final seconds to defeat Gardner-Webb in the quarterfinals of the Big South Conference tournament Friday.
Before Gainey's game-winning shot, a series of remarkable events pulled USC Upstate within two points.
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After a pair of free throws from Gardner-Webb's Anthony Selden, Gardner-Webb led 76-71 late in the game. With only nine seconds remaining, Gainey made a 3-pointer to make it 76-74.
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Leading by two, Gardner-Webb had possession and needed to inbound the ball, draw a foul and make free throws to seal the game.
But a mistimed inbound pass created a scramble. Gainey grabbed the ball and quickly dribbled past defenders.
As the clock's final seconds ticked away, an off-balance Gainey attempted a shot.
With 0.1 left on the clock, Gainey's 3-pointer banked in to give USC Upstate the 77-76 win.
Gainey scored 25 points on 9 of 16 shooting, including 3-for-8 from distance for the Spartans (16-14). He also grabbed two rebounds and recorded a steal during the game.
Trae Broadnax and Khydarius Smith each scored 12 points.
The Runnin' Bulldogs (15-16) were led by Kareem Reid, who scored 19 points and added seven rebounds. Anthony Selden added 16 points and seven rebounds for Gardner-Webb. DQ Nicholas also had 15 points.
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USC Upstate (16-14) with face UNC Asheville in the Big South semifinals.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.