The Cinderella run of Stephen F. Austin ended on Sunday at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn after Notre Dame won via tip-in with 1.5 seconds left. Rex Pflueger scored the game-winning shot that sent the Fighting Irish to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.
“I didn’t expect that to be honest. I just crashed the board. I thought Zach was going to make that last layup, but Coach always emphasizes going to the board hard, especially in situations like that, and it just turned out for the best for us,” Pflueger said after the game via USA Today.
Notre Dame forward Zach Auguste was named the player of the game as he registered a double-double with 16 points and 15 rebounds. He also made his first eight shots from the field but missed his last shot to go eight-of-nine.
The Lumberjacks had the lead for the final 3:30 before Pflueger scored his only two points of the game that won it for Notre Dame. It was really a heartbreaking moment for Stephen F. Austin, but this is what March Madness is all about.
Stephen F. Austin was trying to become the third No. 14 seed to advance to the Sweet 16. Their Cinderella story ended in just 48 hours after forward Clide Geffrard missed the potential game-winning three-point shot at the buzzer.
SFA star Thomas Walkup scored a game-high 21 points with five rebounds and five assists in his final game. His shot selection was very poor during the team’s final two possessions. However, head coach Brad Underwood has no problem with Walkup’s end-game decisions.
“We put the ball in Tom’s hands, and I’ll do it again every single time; I’m going to live and die with that young man. He’s a better kid than he is a player, and that’s what I’ll miss,” Underwood said.
As for Notre Dame, they will face the Wisconsin Badgers on Friday, March 25 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.
Photo Courtesy: Ken Lund/Wikimedia.