Thursday, February 26, 2009

URI's Marquis Jones Hits Game Winner Against Dayton (Video)

Wow, what a crazy finish to this game. Marquis Jones flipped in a layup over his shoulder to win the game for URI. This game was a must win for the Rams if they want to accomplish two things: win the A-10 and get an at-large bid. The Rams have been hot of late and if they keep winning I think that will sit favorably with the NCAA Tournament committee. An A-10 title certainly would do the trick. I do have one beef though: PC fans rush the court when they beat # 1 Pitt, which you know actually makes sense, but URI rushes the court when they beat unranked Dayton? Please step your game up people!

Here is the scoop, via ProJo Sports:

There were nine seconds left in overtime of the biggest University of Rhode Island basketball game of the year as the Rams’ Marquis Jones slowly dribbled the ball up the court Wednesday night. The score was tied at 91-91, and both URI and Dayton were tired after 44 minutes and 51 seconds of basketball. Forward Kahiem Seawright was at the top of the key, gesturing frantically at Jones, calling for a screen. URI had been running screens all night with success. Jones gave Seawright the signal, and Seawright brought his big body up to block Dayton’s smaller London Warren.

"I wanted to get a pick and roll –– I went to it, they switched, I had a big man on me, and I just tried to take advantage of the opportunity," Jones said. The screen worked perfectly. Dayton’s defenders switched, leaving the 6-foot Warren on the 6-8 Seawright. As Jones burst free, Seawright moved down towards the basket, expecting Jones to feed him the ball to complete the pick and roll. "I rolled so I could try to finish the game. I wanted the shot so bad," Seawright said.

But instead of dishing to Seawright, Jones kept driving down the lane towards the basket –– to Seawright’s disbelief. "They switched, I rolled, I had a little guy on me, I’m looking at Marquis, like, 'You’ve got to give me the ball!' " Seawright said. But Jones had other plans. As Jones pushed forward, Dayton’s defense collapsed around the 6-1 guard. Dayton coach Brian Gregory watched from the sideline, as Jones just barely slipped through his defenders and barreled towards the rim.

"I thought we played it pretty good, maybe we could have shrunk the court a little [more] … but you want to make a guy make a tough play. That’s a tough play," Gregory said. Jones twisted through the Dayton big men, almost directly under the basket as he slipped past Dayton’s Mickey Perry. With little room left, Jones switched the ball in his hands, moving it to his left. He turned his back slightly to the basket as his momentum carried him forward, and he flipped the ball up, tumbling to the floor out of bounds. "I tried to get a foul, so I tried to get my body into it. When I let it go, I felt like it was soft, so I thought it had a chance," Jones said.

Jimmy Baron, URI’s best shooter, had been standing on the outside, setting up for a shot in case Jones fed him a pass. Baron stood still as Jones released his shot, and time seemed to slow down. As the ball bounced around the rim, the horn sounded and the backboard lit up red to signal that time had expired. Jones had let it go just in time, but it wouldn’t fall in. Baron watched as it rattled around. "We’ve got some tin foil rims at the Ryan Center, man, because that thing stayed up there. It stayed up there so long the buzzer went off," Baron said.

Then, finally, it fell in: 93-91, URI. The crowd poured out of the stands to mob the URI players, who were already piling on top of Jones in victory celebration, knowing that this would be one they would remember forever. "It’s the greatest moment I’ve ever had at URI. It’s not even close. It’s the greatest moment I’ve ever had," Baron said.

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