Jan. 3 (UPI) -- Redshirt junior swingman Markus Golder sank a half-court heave at the buzzer to lead Valparaiso to a dramatic win against Illinois State.
Golder's great finish capped off the Crusaders' 58-56 victory against the Redbirds on Wednesday at the Athletics-Recreation Center in Valparaiso, Ind. He scored 10 points and had seven rebounds in the victory, while going 1-of-3 from downtown.
The Crusaders trailed 56-51 with just 26 seconds remaining in regulation when they started to mount their comeback. Derrik Smits made a lay-up to close the game to three points before Golder made two free throws, making the game even tighter.
Valparaiso fouled Zach Copeland with two seconds remaining, but he missed the resulting free throw. Golder collected the final board of the game and took a few dribbles through the paint before reaching half-court. He soared over the line as he released the ball, with the buzzer sounding.
His heave sank through the net, sending the arena into bedlam as Golder was mobbed by his teammates on the court.
"Stuff like that happens when you play gritty," Crusaders coach Matt Lottich said in his postgame speech. "I don't know what we were down with about three minutes to go, but you guys just stayed with it."
Ryan Fazekas led the Crusaders with 14 points. Copeland scored a game-high 21 points for the Redbirds.
The Crusaders face Missouri State at 2 p.m. on Saturday at JQH Arena in Springfield, Miss.