Trevon Harmon said he has hit a couple of game-winning shots in high school, but has never hit one at the collegiate level until Friday night.
The Pasadena, Calif. native sank a three-pointer with 2.8 seconds left to give Cleveland State a 67-64 victory over St. Bonaventure at the Wolstein Center.
"First off, I would like to thank god for the shot," said Harmon, who led the Vikings with 20 points on 7-of-12 from the field, including 4-of-7 from 3-point distance. "It was designed for me to come up top towards the end and Aaron (Pogue) set a good screen for me and I was wide open."
On the final decisive play, CSU head coach Gary Waters designed a play to run the clock down to eight seconds. Then Harmon was to come off a down screen and get the ball at the top of the key.
Once Harmon had the ball he had two options: If he was open he was supposed to take the shot and if he was guarded he was supposed to drop it inside to Aaron Pogue.
"They did a great job of executing it," said Waters.
The win improves CSU to 3-0, while SBU drops to 1-1.
CSU won despite allowing the Bonnies to shoot 56.5 percent from the field. The Vikings were able to keep the game close with its defense. They had 13 steals and caused 23 turnovers, which led to 20 points for the Vikings.
"Everybody in the country is going to struggle against our press," said Waters. "These guys get after you."
The Bonnies led 37-32 at the half as they shot 68.2 percent from the field.
After back-to-back buckets from SBU senior forward Andrew Nicholson to start the second half, Waters called a quick time out.
"One of the things I had to tell them (in the timeout) is if they get another bucket this game can get out of hand," said Waters. "So now we got to bring it back so its back under control."
Waters also said he changed defenses in the timeout, switching from a fullcourt press to a three-quarter court press.
The Vikings responded with a 9-0 run out of the timeout and tied the game at 41-41 on a pair of free throws from senior guard Jeremy Montgomery.
CSU would catch a huge break with 3:32 left in the game and the Bonnies leading 61-58, Nicholson would pick up his fifth foul and was disqualified. He finished with 20 points on 9-of-14 from the field.
Without its NBA prospect on the floor, CSU would outscore the Bonnies 9-3 the rest of the game.
"It was a relief," said Harmon on Nicholson fouling out. "We took advantage of that (opportunity) when he left the game."
A one-handed jump shot in the lane from junior forward Tim Kamczyc gave CSU a 64-61 lead with 2:21 left.
The Bonnies would tie the game a minute later on a steal and a lay-up from Michael Davenport. On the play, Davenport was fouled by Kamczyc and converted the free throw to tie the game at 64-64 with 1:30 left.
Montgomery and senior guard D'Aundray Brown were the only other Vikings in double-figures with 12 points each.
Junior guard Eric Mosley was the only other Bonnie in double-figures with 11.
The Vikings are back in action on Tuesday at Kent State.
Harris signs: Darnell Harris, a 6'8" forward from La Jolla Prep (Calif.), has signed a grant-in-aid with CSU earlier this week.
"We're hoping everything works out with him academically to get him here," said Waters. "Once that's all set we have a top 100 player. At 6'9", he can really shoot the ball.
"He plays like a four-man on offense, but has a five-man's body on defense. So he will cause havoc on offense for other five-man because they can't step out and guard him."
Harris joins a four-man class that includes Malik London (Chillicothe, Ohio), Bryn Forbes (Lansing, Mich.) and Junior Lomomba (Montreal, Ontario), who all signed with CSU on the first day of the early signing period.