This University of Central Arkansas basketball team has gone above and beyond the call of duty for cardiac kids.
The Bears (13-16) are 3-0 three overtime games this season: one in single overtime, one in double overtime and one in triple overtime.
They go into this week’s Southland Conference tournament winners of four straight. As the seventh seed, they will play Sam Houston State at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in Katy, Texas.
“Our guys like games close; I don’t,” said UCA coach Corliss Williamson. “I hope we can win a game by more than one or two points.”
One of the players who lives for the moment in close games is Conway’s Jarvis Garner, who hit a 3-pointer from about 28 feet with .3 seconds left to force Saturday’s game against Oral Roberts into overtime. He hit that shot just a few feet from the same spots he hit shots against McNeese State earlier in the season to force that game into overtime, then double overtime.
“When Jarvis releases it in the last seconds and the ball goes up and everyone is holding their breath and you don’t know what is going to happen, I think at this point it has a great chance to go in; he’s done it time after time,” Williamson said at Monday’s last Bearbacker luncheon of the year.”
The coach jumped along the sideline with another senior, Anthony Borden, rebounded his own tip-in attempt at the buzzer to give the Bears an 86-84 victory over the Golden Eagles, the third-place team from the Southland.
“Anthony has been playing some of his best ball lately,” said Williamson on Monday. “At practice this morning, he seemed to have an extra zip in his step. I hope that helps his confidence for the tournament.”
The victory also gave the Bears a winning record at home for the first time in Williamson’s three seasons as UCA coach.