Late shot seals Tiger win
Jan. 28, 2001
It was the shot heard 'round Hearnes Center.
The light bulbs burned, showing 32 second left on the clock. They also showed the Texas Tech Red Raiders up 63-62 over the Missouri Tigers. Tiger forward Kareem Rush took a pass from under the basket. His nearest opponent, Tech's Cliff Owens was two steps away. All eyes were on the 6-foot-6, 215-pound forward, who held the chances of a conference win in his hands. Rush, Missouri's go-to guy, already had 20 points on the night. He pulled up and shot from almost 20 feet out, the crowd silent. A second later, the arena erupted. Fans were out of their seats, drinks and food spilling everywhere, and the cheers topped out at over 110 decibels.
Rush hit a three. Missouri was up 65-63, and this time it was for good. Seconds later, Tech's Marcus Shropshire was on the foul line, missing his first free throw and seriously damaging Raider chances of a win. With a few second left, the Tigers' Clarence Gilbert made his first free throw and intentionally missed his second, wrapping up the game at 66-64.
"I saw Owens backed up a little on me," Rush said. "I just shot it, and lucky it went in."
After sinking the goal, the stone-faced Rush simply trotted away, knowing the job was not finished yet.
"I may not have shown emotion, but I was really happy (after the shot)," Rush said. "I just went out there and hoped that I could help me team win."
After making the shot that, for the most part, gave the game to the Tigers, Rush admitted that he didn't know if it was a three-pointer or not.
"I wasn't even looking at my feet. I just shot, and it went in."