RED DEER, ALTA., (Jan. 11, 2019) — John Smith tied the game with 35 seconds left, and then won it with three seconds left to keep his SAIT Trojans men's basketball team unbeaten.
In their most closely-contested game of the year, the Trojans rallied late to beat the host Red Deer College Kings 102-99 in an exciting Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) matchup.
"John is the guy who honestly believes that every time he shoots the ball it's going in," said Trojans head coach Marty Birky of Smith (4th year, Lacey, Wash., Business Administration). "You can't coach that."
SAIT, ranked No. 1 in Canada by the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA), improves to 11-0 on the season, while Red Deer College falls to 5-6.
"Red Deer hit shots and came away with every loose ball possible," Birky said. "They were scrappy and whenever they got the ball back, it seemed like someone got open and made a shot."
The Trojans trailed for the majority of the second half, but were able to chip away at the Kings' lead, which grew to as much as 15 halfway through the third quarter.
While it was Smith's heroics late that will get the majority of attention, Birky pointed out that the team came together as a whole in the final minutes to eek out the win.
"One guy hit big shots down the stretch, but we worked as team to fight back and get in that position," he said.
One of those teammates was Ian Tevis (5th year, Kent, Wash., Office Professional). The former Kings player went off for 29 points against his old team.
The teams will finish their weekend set Saturday night at SAIT at 8pm.