There were only three seconds left on the shot clock. But for what Demetri McCamey wanted to do, three seconds was plenty of time.
The junior guard faked out his defender and nailed a 3-pointer as the shot clock expired to bring the Illinois men’s basketball team within one of Penn State with 2:37 left in regulation. That’s after the Illini had trailed by as many as eight in the second half.
“I just had to make a play,” McCamey said. “I saw three on the shot clock, so I knew I had enough time to pump fake, and he bit for and I just shot it. Luckily, it went in.”
Just more than a minute later, McCamey hit what became the game-winning shot, and the Illini walked away victorious 54-53 in what has become a nail-biting series of games against the Nittany Lions.
Penn State head coach Ed DeChellis pointed to McCamey’s shot clock buzzer-beater as the game’s defining moment.
“McCamey, with two seconds or one second on the shot clock, shot faked a young kid and got him in the air and made the shot. If he misses the shot, it’s a different story,” DeChillis said.
On Tuesday, McCamey did not look like a player that spent two of his last three games coming off the bench.
Have you seen the forecast for tomorrow?
Get the latest St. Louis weather forecast