Willis Knocks Down Buzzer Beater to Beat UTSA, 65-62

By Lion Athletics

SAN ANTONIO – Alphonso Willis banked in a three-pointer from near the logo at the UTSA Convocation Center as the clock expired, giving the Texas A&M University-Commerce men’s basketball team a 65-62 victory over the UTSA Roadrunners on Nov. 15.

The Roadrunners tied the game at 62-all with four seconds left on a three-pointer by Jordan Ivy-Curvy. Without taking a timeout, Willis (Atlanta, Ga.) immediately sprinted downcourt, launched a shot from 40 feet out, using the glass to record the deciding basket and stun the 914 fans in attendance.

This is A&M-Commerce’s first win over a Division I opponent since 2014, when it beat Texas Tech, 72-69, in overtime. This game was an exhibition game for the Lions and will not count towards their overall record.

The Lions were down 54-50 at the 3:04 minute in the second half. Jairus Roberson (DeSoto) hit a three-pointer and knocked down two free-throws to give the Lions a 55-54 lead. Rodney Brown (Beaumont – West Brook) hit a layup and San Antonio native, Alex Peavy (Smithson Valley) knocked in a free throw to highlight an 8-0 run for the Lions.

Dhieu Deing brought the Roadrunners within one with a three-pointer with 14 seconds to go. Following a turnover on the Lions’ end, the Roadrunners got the ball back and called a timeout, but they did not have any and were charged with a technical foul. Roberson knocked down both free throws to give the Lions a 62-59 lead.

Willis led the team with 18 points, he also had two rebounds and five assists. Clashon Gaffney (Clarksville) battled foul trouble but had 11 points, six rebounds and four key blocks.

The Lions battled foul trouble to start the game as Roberson had three fouls in the first half, while Gaffney and Demarcus Demonia (Fort Washington, Md.) had two each.

Gaffney, playing his first game as a Lion after transferring in from Tarleton, had eight points in the first half on perfect 4 for 4 shooting and made his presence felt on the defensive side with three blocks in the first half.

A&M-Commerce led for nine minutes in the first half, but trailed 31-29 at the half. Willis, a transfer from Young Harris College, knocked down four of his six free-throws for six points in the first half.

The Lions had 12 personal fouls in the first half, resulting in 12 free-throw attempts for the Roadrunners, but they hit only four of them in the first half.

Both teams combined to have 38 three-point attempts in the game, but only knocked down eight.

At the midpoint of the first half, the Lions held the Roadrunners without a made field goal for over five minutes, but could not trim the deficit, going on a 2 minute 38 second scoring drought themselves.