Marcus Pillow connected on a 3-pointer with 11.8 seconds remaining to give the Arkansas Tech Wonder Boys a 64-63 win over Alabama-Huntsville and their second consecutive Gulf South Conference Tournament championship on Sunday at the DeSoto Civic Center in Southaven, Miss.
Pillow made five 3-pointers on Sunday and scored a season-high 18 points. He was named GSC Tournament most outstanding player. Most importantly, his game-winning shot allowed the Wonder Boys to avoid what could have been a devastating loss.
Nationally second-ranked Tech led 61-49 with 3:59 remaining, but little went right for the Wonder Boys from then untiil Pillow's trey.
Alabama-Huntsville went on 14-0 run that started with a Josh Magette 3-pointer at the 3:46 mark and was capped by back-to-back 3-pointers by Zane Campbell.
The second of Campbell's late bombs gave the Chargers their first lead of the game at 63-61 with 30.5 seconds remaining.
Tech called timeout to set up its final shot, and when Pillow caught a pass in front of the Tech bench with less than 15 seconds left, head coach Mark Downey shouted a very simple and effective instruction.
"Let it go," said Downey from just over Pillow's shoulder.
The Russellville native listened, and he splashed home a 24-foot shot that will live forever in Arkansas Tech lore.
The Wonder Boys join Delta State, Henderson State and former GSC member Montevallo as the only programs to successfully defend a GSC Tournament title in men's basketball.
Jeremy Dunbar scored 18 points and Brandon Friedel had 10 points for Tech on Sunday. They were both named to the All-GSC Tournament team.
Campbell finished with 19 points for the Chargers.
Tech hit 14-of-28 shots from 3-point range in their championship game victory.
The Wonder Boys will host the NCAA Division II Tournament South Regional next weekend at Tucker Coliseum. Check www.arkansastechnews.com throughout the week for more information.]]>