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The Dagger: College Basketball Blog

Injured forward Tim Williams delivers poignant finish to senior night at Saint Mary’s

Jeff Eisenberg
The Dagger

The most memorable moment from senior night at Saint Mary's didn't come from the player who will leave Moraga as the school's all-time leading scorer.

Instead it came from a guy who hadn't scored a point all season.

Senior forward Tim Williams, a role player during the 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons at Saint Mary's, had barely played the past two seasons as a result of recurring knee issues. First came a fractured left kneecap in Nov. 2011, followed by two more injuries to the same knee last April and last October.

When Williams started feeling a bit stronger and more mobile about a month ago, he and members of the school's training staff hatched a plan to get him back on the court for the Gaels' final home game of the season Saturday against Santa Clara. Coach Randy Bennett relented, inserting Williams for the final 11.8 seconds of his team's 80-67 victory over the Broncos and instructing his team to get the senior forward a shot.

Williams missed a three-point try, but fellow senior Kyle Rowley grabbed the rebound and fed Williams for another attempt. This one rattled home, the ideal ending to an otherwise difficult season.

CBSSports.com's Matt Norlander spoke with Williams, who was understandably thrilled that Bennett and his teammates got him that opportunity.

"Getting it [at McKeon Pavilion] was the best part," he told Norlander. "My teammates wanted me to shoot the ball; I just wanted to check in. Getting in and drawing up a play for me was one of the best feelings ever. There was no guarantee I could play this year. I was just grateful for that."

There's a chance Williams sees the floor in the final seconds of a WCC tournament or NCAA tournament game too if the score is already out of reach, but perhaps Williams should think better of it. For a kid who has battled injuries for more than two years, there's no better way to close a college career with a flourish than that.

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