Down go the Blue Devils. Stephen F. Austin scored in the final second of overtime to upset top-ranked Duke 85-83 on Tuesday night at Cameron Indoor Stadium. The Lumberjacks were 28-point underdogs and snapped Duke’s 150-game non-conference home winning streak. Stephen F. Austin is the first non-ACC team to come into Cameron and win since St. John’s did it on February 26, 2000.
Stephen F. Austin forced a turnover to start the game-winning sequence. Nathan Bain scooped up the loose ball and sprinted almost the full length of the court to get the final shot off just before the buzzer sounded.
“I looked up at the clock and saw I had 2.6 seconds, just going as fast as I can to lay it up. Like a layup drill. Prayed it would go in,” Bain said. “I wasn’t sure if the guy was going to foul me or not. Get it on the rim to give us a chance.”
The Lumberjacks become the second unranked team to upset a No. 1-ranked team on its home floor in the last two weeks after Evansville went into Rupp Arena and stunned Kentucky 67-64 on November 12.
Duke led the game 45-40 at halftime. Stephen F. Austin took the lead late in the second half but Duke was able to force overtime. The Lumberjacks outscored the Blue Devils 4-2 in a very low-scoring overtime. The loss is the first for Duke this season who will most likely fall out of the top spot in the rankings next week.
What makes the upset even more shocking is Stephen F. Austin’s last game, a 69-57 loss at Rutgers last week. The setback snapped a four-game winning streak to start the season for the Lumberjacks.
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The last-second heroics were extra special for Nathan Bain, who is a native of Freeport, Bahamas. After the game, Bain dedicated the victory to his family that was hit hard by Hurricane Dorian back in September.
“I’m trying real hard not to get emotional,” Bain said after the game while fighting back tears. “My family lost a whole lot this year. I’m just playing this game for them. Just playing for my SFA family, my family back home in the Bahamas. I just want to make my country proud.”
Hurricane Dorian was a Category 5 storm that made landfall on September 1 and decimated the Bahamas with 185-mph winds. The latest death toll is 69 with hundreds still missing and thousands homeless. It is unclear if any of Bain’s family members were among the victims who lost their lives during the devastating storm.
Blue Devils Sloppy on Offense
The Lumberjacks forced 22 turnovers in the game and are ranked No. 1 in the NCAA forcing 25.8 turnovers per game. Duke was also dismal at the charity stripe going just 11-for-24 from the line in the second half. Point guard Tre Jones had 17 points and 12 assists but committed eight turnovers in the game.
Kevon Harris scored a game-high 26 points for Stephen F. Austin and Gavin Kensmil added 15. Kensmil’s layup tied the game at 81 with just 19 seconds remaining in regulation. The game went to overtime after Jones missed a turnaround jumper at the buzzer with four seconds left.
Vernon Carey added 20 points and 11 rebounds for the Blue Devils, who fell to 6-1 on the season. Stephen F. Austin improved to 5-1.
Kentucky Falls to Evansville
Sam Cunliffe scored 17 points and hit two free throws with 6.8 seconds remaining to seal the win for the Aces. Kentuck entered the game 25-point favorites and had earned the top ranking in the polls a day earlier.
Follow Jared Smith on Twitter: @jaredleesmith