UC Riverside, an academic institution known more for their cicada research and orange groves than sporting teams, pulled off an incredible upset victory against the ASU Sun Devils men’s basketball team on Thursday night.
The Inland Empire’s relatively unknown University of California school traveled to Arizona, expecting a rebound performance against the Devils after Tuesday’s 66-53 loss against San Diego State to start their season 0-1.
Pac-12’s ASU was coming off a commanding victory against University of Portland, 76-60, Tuesday night.
The only way for the UCR Highlanders, a team buried leagues beneath the Big West, to pull off the improbable win was to hit an impossible shot.
Down 65-63, the Highlanders inbounded the ball with :01.7 seconds left in the fourth quarter. The Highlanders needed the ball to travel the full span on the court — either as a long pass or shot.
The ball was inbounded, a quarter of the court’s distance, to forward JP Moorman II. The Highlander evaded his defender with a single dribble and let his shot fly for the remaining three-quarters of the court, knowing the basketball’s next dribble would signal the end of the game.
Moorman’s shot hit, winning the game for UCR, and silencing the eager ASU fans blindsided by the upset loss at Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe. UCR’s Moorman finished the game with a double-double — contributing 14 points and 11 rebounds. Guard Flynn Cameron led the Highlanders in scoring with 18 points.
UC Riverside and Moorman’s shot got their 15 seconds on social media as viewers were treated to an all-net, game-winning shot that shouldn’t have gone in.
But it did.
As the Highlanders say: WHOSE HOUSE? R-HOUSE!
Follow along on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela