Welcome to March, David Jean Baptiste.
The senior Chattanooga guard set a ridiculous handicap for the 2022 madness by scoring 3-pointers to secure the Mocs’ place at the NCAA Stadium on Monday.
A frantic end to the SoCon final
With 4.3 seconds of overtime remaining, Chattanooga got the ball under its own basket trailing Foreman in the Southern Conference championship game, 63-61. Jean-Baptiste stopped the inside pass and did not concede it until the victory. He dribbled the ball over half of the field and moved to the left wing, where he was met by three Foreman defenders.
As the clock ticked, Jean Baptiste sprinted from behind the 3-point arc finding nothing but the bottom of the grid where the last bell sounded.
Cheers to Chattanooga’s top ranked win 64-63. A heartbreak for No. 2 seed Foreman, who saw his NCAA Championship hopes disappear.
Foreman’s tournaments are getting shorter
The Jean Baptiste Prize winner wasn’t the first worthy event of March on this night. The game wouldn’t have reached overtime without a massive shot from Mike Bothwell, Foreman’s head guard at the All-Southern Conference.
Chattanooga took a 51-48 lead with 28 seconds in order thanks to advice from top striker Silvio de Sousa. The Paladins looked at their leader to respond. With the clock ticking less than nine seconds, Bothwell drove to the basket from the left wing, dumped his defender with a cut, and shot from behind the three-point line to tie the match at 51–51, ultimately sending the match into the overtime session.
Bothwell then scored Foreman’s first five points of overtime to give Paladin’s team a 56-53 lead. He again took the lead for the Paladins at 63-61, responding to a three-pointer by AJ Caldwell of Chattanooga with a throw in with 4.3 seconds remaining. But Jean-Baptiste stood up to spoiling his big night in amazing fashion.
Jean-Baptiste had a tough shooting night before winning the game. He finished with 13 points on 5 of 17 shots from the field. He will definitely transfer the hit to his field goals ratio.
Meanwhile, Bothwell was the better player on the field, finishing the game with 24 points and five rebounds while connecting 9 of 13 field goal attempts in an agonizing losing attempt.
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