The Foresters won their first conference game against Marian University in dramatic fashion Nov. 26. With seven tenths of a second left in the game, Marian’s Jason Riley made two free throws to put the Knights up 59-58.
The game was all but over.
Senior forward Shane Merryman took an inbound pass from fellow senior TJ Short and took a desperation shot at the hoop from three-quarter court. The ball sank through the net as time expired.
Both the student section and the Forester bench swarmed Merryman as Platt Arena was whipped into a frenzy.
“When Riley hit the shot, nothing really went through my mind,” Merryman said. “I remember walking towards half court and seeing that Marian was playing back and that is when I knew that I was going to to take the last shot.”
Merryman’s shot was number one on ESPN’s Top Ten Plays of the night. It also received recognition from CBS Sports, Bleacher Report, Huffington Post, Good Morning America and The Today Show. His shot has received over a million hits on YouTube, and the full length broadcast has received over eight thousand hits. Merryman was interviewed on SportsCenter on ESPNews Nov. 27.
“It was an amazing experience to see the shot being put on SportsCenter,” Merryman said. “It was great for the school and the community to be put on a national stage. The amount of students and alumni who have reached out to me because of being on SportsCenter has been nothing short of amazing.”
Prior to Riley’s free throws, freshman guard Derek Hinen hit a mid-range shot to put the Foresters up 58-57 with four seconds left in the game. This was followed by a full timeout for the Knights called by coach Todd Lickliter. Riley was fouled by junior guard Ryan Boester on the Knights’ ensuing possession to set up the free throws.
The Foresters are now 9-0, 1-0 in conference play. They will travel to Spring Arbor University to face the Cougars Dec. 3 at 7:00 p.m.
“Once practice starts Friday, the only thing that matters is preparing for Spring Arbor on Tuesday,” Merryman said.
Merryman’s shot can be seen here.