Winfield hides highlights for the end
Dec. 01, 1995
During 40 minutes of regulation time, the only thing memorable in Thursday night's Missouri-Southern Methodist game was one play — and that came with one minute left.
While no one player stood out, Julian Winfield was particularly hard to find, literally.
With less than a minute to play and the Mustangs set to shoot one-and-one free throws, Winfield waltzed to Missouri's end of the court as if he was being substituted for. Instead, the senior forward bent down in the corner of the court near the MU bench, awaiting a missed SMU free throw.
SMU's Jay Poerner made both foul shots, but none of the Mustang players noticed Winfield hiding at the other end. After a substitution by SMU, Kelly Thames threw the in-bounds pass the length of the floor, right to Winfield. The result — an open dunk that punctuated the 66-51 Missouri victory.
"That's a ridiculous play defensively for us to give that shot up," SMU coach Mike Dement said. "Our big guys went totally to sleep."
Apparently, SMU's big men were the only people in the building dozing at the moment.
"Thirteen-thousand people knew he was there but nobody else did," MU coach Norm Stewart said.
For a moment, Winfield was afraid that he was the only person that knew he was there.
"I was having a hard time trying to get someone's attention down there to let them know," Winfield said. "When the ball was flying through the air I was like 'It's going to go right through my hands and I'm going to drop it.' But it all worked out."
Fortunately it did all work out, because it was the one highlight. It was a game in which no one stood out.
Four Tigers scored in double figures, with Simeon Haley leading the way with 13 points. After the dunk, Winfield finished the game with 12 points. Junior Derek Grimm had 11 points and was 3 for 4 from beyond the 3-point arc, while Thames continued his comeback from a knee injury with 10 points and nine rebounds.
"We have a lot of talented people on this team," Thames said. "The other people are waiting and they are anxious to get in there."
No matter the amount of talent, the victory will be secondary to Winfield's game of hide and seek in the minds of Tiger fans.