Marlin Wise was a humble man last night moments after he drove the baseline for a spinning reverse layup with 2.2 seconds left to lift Towson University to a 58-55 victory over New Hampshire at the Towson Center.
"It was no big deal or great play on my part," he said of his first collegiate game-winning basket in the final seconds. "The play was straight from our playbook, so you should give the credit to our coach [Mike Jaskulski]."
Jaskulski smiled quietly and had to feel good about the America East win.
It was only the fourth victory for the Tigers (4-12, 3-5), and the second-year coach hasn't exactly been receiving rave reviews lately.
"It just feels good to win and see the team execute as well as we have since I've been here in the final seven seconds tonight," said Jaskulski. "We felt confident Marlin could use his quickness to beat people on the baseline for that shot, and he did."
Wise said the play worked perfectly because New Hampshire (3-13, 1-7) was most likely expecting him to drive the lane when the Tigers got the ball to half-court and called timeout with 5.5 seconds left.
"Most of the time in that situation, guards will drive the lane with about five seconds left," Wise said. "But we went baseline. The play calls for me to come off a screen and make the forward or center come out to guard me, opening the baseline up for me to drive."
It worked as scripted, and Wise blew past the Wildcats so fast for the reverse layup that the visitors still had a chance to come back from a 57-55 deficit.
But New Hampshire panicked and called a timeout it didn't have, resulting in two technical free throws for Alphonso Hawes. He hit one of them for the final margin of victory.
New Hampshire's Will Chavis did steal Josh Davalli's inbounds pass after the free throws, but Chavis' long pass was intercepted by Wise as the buzzer sounded.
It was Davalli who relayed the ball accurately off the inbounds pass to Wise along the left baseline for the game-winning drive and layup.
Wise said, "It feels good to know your team has the confidence to go to you at the end of the game, but I can't really remember anything like this happening before to win a game."
Wise, a 5-foot-11 junior point guard from Southern High in Baltimore, hit a clutch three-point shot with 12 seconds left last season to send a game against Delaware into overtime. The Tigers eventually lost that game.
Towson is 3-3 since Wise's return to the lineup, and he continues to make the team a threat to knock off some of the upper-echelon teams in the league.
"We still have a lot of games to play and I know we can make some things happen later on in the season," said Wise, who had 12 points, five steals, three assists and four rebounds.
Junior guard Pete Mauro led Towson with 17 points and Brian Barber had 12 for the winners, who led by as many as 11 in the first half before New Hampshire rallied down the stretch for the tie behind the three-point shooting of Andy Cavo (team-leading 16 points).
It was Cavo who tied the game at 55 with 7.6 seconds left on a three-pointer.
NEW HAMPSHIRE -- Cole 0-3 2-2 2, Cavo 6-17 0-1 16, Marquardi 2-3 1-1 5, Macciariello 4-11 2-2 11, Chavis 2-9 0-0 5, Donahue 0-0 0-0 0, Ganly 1-3 0-0 3, Senulis 3-5 1-1 8, Boyd 2-5 1-1 5. Totals 20-56 7-8 55.
TOWSON -- Barber 4-8 4-5 12, Davalli 3-8 1-2 8, Hawes 1-5 1-3 3, Wise 4-6 2-2 12, de Pablo 0-0 0-0 0, Mauro 7-13 2-2 17, White 0-0 0-0 0, Cason 0-1 0-0 0, Holtz 1-3 2-2 4, Zenou 1-4 0-0 2, Augustus 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 21-48 12-16 58.
Halftime--Towson, 27-20. Three-point goals--NH 8-29 (Cavo 4-11, Ganly 1-3, Senulis 1-3, Chavis 1-5, Macciariello 1-6, Boyd 0-1); T 4-11 (Wise 2-2, Davalli 1-3, Mauro 1-3, Holtz 0-1, Augustus 0-2). Rebounds--NH 34 (Cavo, Chavis, Cole 6); T 32 (Zenou 5). Assists--NH 13 (Macciariello 5); T 12 (Cason, Wise 3). Total fouls--NH 14, T 13. A--1,010.
Pub Date: 1/23/99