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Tennessee Tech's Swansey lives up to "Mr. Big Shot" nickname

The Dagger

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Zac Swansey never had any doubt he was going to take the final shot against Murray State in the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament semifinals Friday.

After all, the junior guard hasn't earned the nickname "Mr. Big Shot" for nothing.

Swansey used a ball screen by teammate Jud Dillard to free up just enough space to fearlessly launch a 3-pointer from the wing over his trailing defender.

"I had no doubt (the ball was going in)," Swansey said during a phone interview with Yahoo! Sports. "It looked good the whole way. It was probably one of the toughest shots I took all night, but it felt good. I had a nice dribble in rhythm and I knocked it down."

The shot gave Tennessee Tech a five-point lead with 23 seconds to play against the tournament's No. 1 seed and the Golden Eagles never looked back.

"My teammates found me down the stretch and they have a lot of confidence in me just like I have a lot of confidence in myself," Swansey said. "When it comes down to it, I want the ball in my hands to make that last shot."

Friday's heroics marked the sixth time this season that Swansey has hit the eventual game-winner in the final minute. His first came on Dec. 19 when he hit a 15-footer with 4.5 seconds remaining to give Tennessee Tech a 65-64 win over Eastern Illinois.

He went on to hit more game winners against Tennessee State, Austin Peay, Eastern Illinois -- again -- and Jacksonville State.

"It's become a trend," Swansey said. "There have been gaps between each one, but it seems like every one it's come down to, I've been fortunate enough to hit it."

However, whether Swansey would be able to take a potential game-winning shot against Murray State on Friday was questionable. Late in the the second half, while driving to the hoop, Swansey fell awkwardly on his right wrist. A couple minutes later, Swansey ran over to the bench and had his wrist taped. Even though he was in pain, he never had any intention of coming out of the game.

Swansey did not get X-rays on the wrist, but said he was wearing a soft cast and would undergo further treatment at the hotel. He said nothing would keep him from tomorrow's Ohio Valley Tournament final against Morehead State. He'll tape the wrist for shootaround and see how it feels.

"I was just playing through the adrenaline," Swansey said. "It's really sore right now. I'm going to get back to the hotel, ice it, gets some fluids and some medicine in me and get ready for tomorrow. I don't want to know what's wrong with it. I just want to do whatever it takes to get through tomorrow's game and go from there."

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