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Ryan Greene

Welcome to March: Stetson women advance on half-court heave

Ryan Greene
The Dagger

It's March, and that means that moments like this are supposed to happen.

And only four days in, the college basketball world saw a buzzer-beater that might be impossible for anyone to top this postseason.

It came in the semifinals of the Atlantic Sun Conference women's tournament, when Stetson's Victoria McGowan connected on what was roughly a 50-foot heave to give the Lady Hatters a wild 48-46 victory over Belmont.

Just a couple hours after top-seed East Tennessee State was upset by Jacksonville in the other semi, Belmont was on the verge of knocking off the tourney's No. 3 seed. Just before McGowan provided the heroics, Belmont's Shaunda Strayhorn had put the Lady Bruins ahead with an old-fashioned three-point play.

McGowan had enough time for a few steps before the desperate toss.

"I didn't think I'd have enough time to get a shot off," she said afterwards. "I thought the rotation was good, and I felt like it was going in, but I was praying for it."

The play was reviewed, and replay showed that the ball was just off of McGowan's fingertips with a tenth of a second remaining.

"I didn't feel like the clock started," Belmont coach Brittney Ezell added. "But when you're a head coach on the losing end, you're going to try anything. So I asked (the officials) to put a stop watch on it, but they did not."

On the video, it certainly looked like the clock started right when the ball touched McGowan's hands on the inbound pass. She simply did a great job of heading up court before catching it.

Besides, that shot — and even the subsequent 'Oh my God!' call on the broadcast by Comcast's Matt Stewart — was simply too good to have been waved off.

Welcome to March, everyone.

Ryan Greene also covers UNLV and the Mountain West Conference for the Las Vegas Sun. Read his Rebels coverage and follow him on Twitter.

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