JEFFERSON CITY—Quin Nottingham drained a three-quarters court three at the final horn to cap a remarkable comeback and get Anderson (13-7, 8-6 South Atlantic Conference) a 75-72 win that plucked Carson-Newman's (7-13, 4-10 SAC) heart from its chest Saturday afternoon in Holt Fieldhouse.
Anderson did not actually lead for any time in the game while the clock was running, as Nottingham's heave swished home after the buzzer had sounded. Carson-Newman had led for 38:59 in the contest.
"Out of more than 520 or so games I've coached, that's definitely among the top three most painful losses for the way it went down," Carson-Newman head men's basketball coach Chuck Benson said. "You have to give Nottingham a lot of credit for his shot-making down the stretch. I've never lost a game like that as a head coach, and I've seen very few that end like that. It's so disappointing on multiple levels. I hate it for our guys."
gham's miracle underscored an outrageous close for the league's second-leading scorer. The junior scored all 13 of Anderson's points in the final 86 seconds to pull off the comeback. Nottingham had 15 points and had been one-for-seven from range. However, with 86 seconds left, Nottingham hit an and-one corner three to cut what was a six-point C-N lead down to two.
He followed that up by launching, and draining another from the right wing with a hand in his face to pull Anderson within one. Dima Bykov (Moscow, Russia) knocked down a layup on the other end to stretch C-N's advantage back to three with 30 seconds left. Nottingham was far from done. He hit a pull-up 28 footer from the head of the key four seconds later to tie the game at 72.
Tripp Davis (Nashville, Tenn.) saw his game-winning lay-up attempt glance off the rim. Nottingham took the rebound and unleashed a shot for the ages for the Trojans. The loss is just the fifth for Carson-Newman in the last eight season when it led with five minutes to play.
Nottingham joins fellow Trojan Denzail Jones as the only players to beat the Eagles at the buzzer in Chuck Benson's tenure as head coach.
The loss obfuscates a solid performance by the Eagles. C-N outrebounded the Trojans, made more shots and just as many free throws while shooting a more efficient rate from the field. However, it didn't add up to a win thanks to Nottingham's heroics.
Davis led C-N with 15 points, he was one of four player in double-figures. Bykov added in 11, while Richard Henderson (Maryland Heights, Mo.) and Luke Brenegan (Greenville, S.C.) each had 10.
Nottingham finished with a game-high 28 for AU. He had 23 after halftime and 13 in the final 86 seconds. Crosby James went for 23, while Shawn Benard added in 13. Those three combined for all but 11 of Anderson's 75 points.
Carson-Newman hits the road Wednesday to face Mars Hill. Tipoff from the mountain top is set for 7:30 p.m.