Arkansas-Little Rock upsets Purdue in 2OT in NCAA
The University of Arkansas at Little Rock is moving on in the NCAA Tournament, thanks to an out-of-nowhere comeback that led to an 85-83 double-overtime victory over Purdue on Thursday.
Josh Hagins sent the game into overtime with a shot from the edge of the midcourt logo, and then into double OT with an arcing shot off glass over an outstretched defender.
The 6-foot-1 senior finished with 31 points, including six in the second overtime.
The 12th-seeded Trojans (30-4) trailed 65-52 with 3:33 to go in regulation, but went on a 12-0 run to make it a game. Trailing by three on the final possession, Hagins tried to find space, then finally stepped back and launched from 30 feet to tie it.
UALR, now 17 wins better than last season under first-year coach Chris Beard, will face Iowa State on Saturday in the second round.
Vince Edwards led Purdue (26-9) with 24 points, and the Boilermakers may as well have been planning for Saturday themselves when A.J. Hammons (16 points, 15 rebounds) made two free throws to extend their lead to 13 late in the game.
Then shots started falling for UALR — some from the strangest of places.
Trailing 68-64 with 33 seconds left, Hagins missed a 3 badly, but it rimmed sharply to the corner, and into the hands of 6-foot-11 Lis Shoshi. His 3-point attempt struck iron, bounced straight up and dropped.
Edwards hit two free throws to extend the lead back to three, and then Hagins found his space for the tying 3 at the 5.1-second mark.
His second game-tying shot was a looper, with a kiss off glass over the outstretched arms of Rapheal Davis.
In the second overtime, Hagins opened with a pull-up 12-footer that gave the Trojans a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
Other Hagins highlights: A dribble drive to the baseline, then a fadeaway pull-up — a la Isaiah Thomas — for an 83-79 lead with 1:01 left. Hagins also made the game’s last free throw, and after the buzzer sounded, Beard went to center court and kissed the floor, then ran off the court and, to someone on press row said: “Don’t ever count the little guy out.”.