Davis banks in 3 at buzzer, Charlotte upends OK State 66-64
“Even if it did, I wouldn’t tell you,” Davis said with a grin.
Davis scored a game-high 27 points, including five points in the final 4.2 seconds as Charlotte erased a 24-point deficit in the final 14 minutes to stun Oklahoma State 66-64 on Saturday and give Ron Sanchez his first win as the head coach.
The Cowboys led by three with 7 seconds left and tried to foul Davis to put him on the line for a 1-on-1 rather than allowing him to attempt a potential tying 3-pointer — a strategy that is often debated among college coaches. However, after the foul, officials gathered at the monitor at midcourt and called Oklahoma State’s Lindy Waters for a flagrant foul.
Davis made two free throws and Charlotte got the ball on the side with a chance to win.
On a designed play, Davis came off a screen and buried a jumper from 25 feet off the glass with two defenders in his face. As the crowd erupted, Davis ran back down court and pumping his fist.
“I put in a lot of work over my four years of college and put in a lot of work in basketball my whole life and honestly I believe every shot that I take is going in,” said Davis, who made game-winning shots as a sophomore to beat Texas-San Antonio and Old Dominion.
Sanchez said the inbounds play was designed for Davis.
“He said he wanted to win it,” Sanchez said of Davis. “I said, ‘You want to go win it. Well, go win it.'”
Oklahoma State coach Mike Boynton was humble after the stunning loss, saying it was hard to tell if it was a flagrant foul.
“As I sit here right now I can’t imagine that call being made at that time,” Boynton said. “But if it was a flagrant, it was a flagrant. It’s a judgment. He went to the monitor and thought it was. It’s an unfortunate thing to happen.”
Boynton said he did not receive an explanation for why they made the call.
Oklahoma State was led by 17 points from Cameron McGriff, who made six clutch free throws down the stretch. Thomas Dziagwa scored 15 points on five 3-pointers. Waters had 15 points and Isaac Likekele added 13 for the Cowboys (0-1).
Oklahoma State: Losing a 24-point lead is never good for a team’s confidence and that is something that may cause issues for the Cowboys in close games down the stretch particular with such a young team. “We played like a fairly immature team,” Boynton said. “We got a big lead and relaxed. And that’s what happens. It’s hard to win on the road. It really is. It was a concern of mine coming in playing six freshmen and no seniors.”
Charlotte: The 49ers had 18 turnovers in the first 30 minutes before settling down. They showed incredible heart coming back from 24 down to win. Freshman Cooper Robb didn’t put up big numbers, but made some key plays for the 49ers. It’s a big win for Sanchez, who was hired away from Virginia in the offseason.
Sanchez was thrilled with how his team hung in there and didn’t get down emotionally after trailing by 24.
“Being good isn’t pretty, it’s not sexy,” Sanchez said. “You got to get dirty. When you don’t feel like you have any more, you have to be willing to dig in. And they did. They didn’t lay down. They just fought.”
Charlotte won despite turning the ball over 22 times, something Sanchez said needs to be corrected.
Oklahoma State missed 11 of its final 12 shots from the field, but McGriff did make six free throws in the closing minutes including two to put the Cowboys up by three with 4.2 seconds left.
Oklahoma State: Hosts Texas-San Antonio on Wednesday.
Charlotte: Hosts James Madison on Friday.