ACU men win on shot at the buzzer


ABILENE, Texas - Freshman guard Payten Ricks banked in a 3-pointer at the buzzer Saturday night to cap a huge second-half comeback for Abilene Christian University and push the Wildcats to a 67-64 win over Lamar University in a Southland Conference men's basketball game in Moody Coliseum.

ACU trailed Lamar 48-33 with 13 minutes to play in the game, but chipped away at the Cardinals' lead, finally tying the game 53-53 with 5:02 to play on a Jalone Friday 3-pointer. Hayden Howell tied the game again at 57-57 with 3:$4 on a layup before Ricks tied the game again 61-61 on a driving layup with 1:53 left.

After Dorian Chatman hit two free throws with 1:31 to play and Zjori Bosha hit the second of two free throws to make it a 64-61 Lamar game with 31 second left. But Friday buried another 3-pointer with 18 seconds to play to knot the game at 64-64, giving Lamar the chance at the last shot.

But a pass to what he thought would be a teammate cutting to the basket found no one and went out of bounds, giving the ball back to the Wildcats with six seconds to play. Ricks got the ball on the inbounds pass, dribbled up the right side of the floor, crossed half court with about two seconds to play, half-stumbled and threw up a prayer just before the buzzer sounded.

Ricks' prayer was answered as the ball banged off the square on the backboard and dropped through for the game-winning 3-pointer. Last February, it was then-freshman Jaren Lewis from nearly the same spot on the floor who did the same thing to New Orleans to beat the Privateers, 87-84.

Friday led all scorers in the game with a career-high 23 points, while Lewis had 13 points and 11 rebounds for ACU. Ricks finished with seven points in 26 minutes off the bench.

Lamar was led by Colton Weisbrod, who had 21 points and 10 rebounds, while Doritan Chatman had 16 points off the bench.

ACU is now 8-9 overall and 2-4 in the Southland, while Lamar falls to 11-7 and 3-2.

Courtesy of ACU Sports Information.