Myles Cale hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 9.5 seconds left in overtime and Seton Hall overcame Keldon Johnson’s half-court heave that tied the score at the regulation buzzer, stunning No. 9 Kentucky 84-83 on Saturday in a thriller at Madison Square Garden.
In one of the most exciting finishes of the college basketball season, Johnson had a chance to win it for the Wildcats (7-2), but his 3-point try with a second remaining was blocked by Quincy McKnight. The ball went out of bounds as time expired, and Pirates players rushed off the bench to celebrate a huge win.
“I guess that was good for the fans,” Kentucky coach John Calipari said. “Wasn’t so good for the losing coach.”
Myles Powell scored 25 of his 28 points after halftime for Seton Hall (6-3), including a tiebreaking 3 in the final seconds of the second half.
“It took a lot of effort, but … we were ready,” Powell said. “We fought, we never gave up, we stayed together and we got the job done.”
The clock showed 1.1 seconds after Powell’s step-back, double-clutch jumper from the left side went through, but officials made it 1.5 seconds after a replay review. That made all the difference for Kentucky when PJ Washington inbounded from the baseline and threw a long pass to an open Johnson, even though the play wasn’t designed for him to receive the ball.
He caught it near center court, turned over his left shoulder and hurled a right-handed shot that went in as the horn sounded, tying it at 70.
“I knew if I got the shot off that I had a pretty good chance to make it,” Johnson said. “It was a big shot. I mean, it was pretty big. I guess it just hurt because we lost.”
Kentucky fans roared and Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard, stomping and pointing on the sideline only moments before, simply dropped his head in disbelief. A blue-clad crowd of 10,244, split between the schools probably in Kentucky’s favor, was still buzzing as the teams got ready for overtime to settle the Citi Hoops Classic.
“There’s just something special about this place,” Willard said.
Washington had a career-high 29 points and grabbed 13 rebounds for Kentucky, which had won seven straight since a 118-84 blowout loss to Duke in the season opener Nov. 6.
Reid Travis added 13 points and six rebounds before fouling out with 2:20 remaining in regulation. Johnson, the team’s leading scorer at 15.9 points per game, was held to 10 after going scoreless in the first half.
Cale scored a career-best 17 on 4-of-18 shooting. With the Pirates trailing 83-81, he took a pass from Taurean Thompson on the left side, pump-faked a defender and drained an open 3 to send Seton Hall to its fifth victory in six games.
“We practice that all the time,” Cale said.
McKnight had 15 points and five assists. Thompson, who missed Tuesday night’s win over New Hampshire with an ankle injury, contributed 13 points and six rebounds off the bench.
Seton Hall quickly recovered from Johnson’s incredible shot, scoring the first four points in overtime. A 3-pointer by Johnson with 43.9 seconds left gave the Wildcats an 82-81 lead, and Ashton Hagans made one of two free throws for Kentucky with 24.9 seconds to go.
After trailing most of the first half and going into the locker room down 31-25, the Pirates used an 11-0 spurt to take a 43-39 lead with 12:40 remaining as Seton Hall fans chanted “Over-rated! Over-rated!”
. 21 VILLAVA 70, SAINT JOSEPH’S 58
Eric Paschall had 14 points and nine rebounds, and No. 21 Villanova beat Saint Joseph’s 70-58 on Saturday for its 25th straight Big 5 victory.
Joe Cremo and Phil Booth scored 12 points apiece as the Wildcats (8-2) continued their dominance of the long-standing city series with Philadelphia rivals Saint Joseph’s, Penn, La Salle and Temple. Jermaine Samuels added 11 points.
Lamarr Kimble led Saint Joseph’s with 22 points. The Hawks were missing Charlie Brown, the top scorer in the Atlantic 10. He sprained his ankle in a win at Princeton on Wednesday.
. 5 MICHIGAN, SOUTH CAROLINA 78
Jordan Poole scored 19 of his 26 points in the second half, and No. 5 Michigan remained unbeaten with an 89-78 home victory over South Carolina on Saturday.
The Gamecocks (4-5) scored more points than any team all season against Michigan. But the Wolverines (10-0) were ahead by six at halftime, and they led comfortably for most of the second half.
Iggy Brazdeikis scored 17 points and Jon Teske added 15 for Michigan. Chris Silva led South Carolina with 18.
. 10 MICHIGAN STATE 63, FLORIDA 59
Kyle Ahrens scored Michigan State’s final seven points, including a two-handed jam with 8.7 seconds remaining.
Ahrens barely beat the shot clock with his baseline slam, giving the Spartans the final points in a game the Gators made close thanks mostly to freshman Andrew Nembhard late.Florida (5-4) cut Michigan State’s lead to 56-53 on KeVaughn Allen’s 3-pointer with 3:24 to play, but Ahrens answered from the corner on the other end. Ahrens added a reverse layup on the Spartans’ next possession.
Xavier Tillman led the Spartans (8-2) with 14 points and nine rebounds.