SFA Shocks the College Basketball World, defeating #1 Duke in Overtime

Stephen F. Austin forward Nathan Bain (23) and guard David Kachelries (4) celebrate Bain's game winning basket against Duke in overtime of an NCAA college basketball game in Durham, N.C., Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

For the people who have never heard of Stephen F. Austin University…

You have now.

After a stunning 85-83 victory, which saw the Lumberjacks overcome multiple defecits, Duke had to live with something that hasn’t happened in 20 years.

A loss to a Non-Conference Team.

So how did the Lumberjacks pull off the miracle at Cameron Indoor? Let’s recap.

From the begining of the game, it seemed obvious it was going to be a blowout for the Blue Devils, but as the old saying goes, you don’t win games on paper. You win them on the court. The Duke offense looked powerful early on, making plays that a top ranked team should be making pretty easily.

After the first half, Duke only had a 5 point lead on SFA. Their lead could have been better, but it was a lead none the less. Stephen F. Austin had stuck with the Blue Devils through the first 20 minutes and looked to continue their strong performance through the second half of the game. The Lumberjacks did exactly that, outscoring Duke 41-36 in the second half. After Vegas had put a 27.5 point favor on Duke, it had seemed like Vegas was about to pay out the very few who had put money on SFA. The Lumberjacks had everything going their way, and at the end of regulation, the two teams were deadlocked at 81 a piece.

Overtime. A five minute period that nobody, especially the almost 10,000 at Cameron Indoor Stadium had expected, or even pondered of. But the two teams were here. Of course now we know what happened but to them, they had no idea that the vast majority of the attended would go home in complete shock and awe. With both teams each converting only one basket, and an extremely short amount of time (seven seconds) to go, SFA picked up a loose ball at their end of the court.

In steps Nathain Bain.

With almost no time left on the clock, Bain had to rush down the court and put in a game winning layup to not only help his team completely shock the fans at Duke, but the entire nation. Bain had told the media in his on court post game interview what was going through his head in the final moments of the game.

“I saw my teammate grab it, and I looked up at the clock. We had about 2.6 seconds,” Bain said after the game. “I was like, ‘I have to get on my horse.’ I went as fast as I can to try to lay it up. It’s like a layup drill. I could feel the dude on my back, and I just prayed it [would] go in.”

Now here’s where the story gets even more special.

Bain is from the Bahamas, and his family had lost almost everything in Hurricane Dorian. A GoFundMe was started to help Nathan’s family shortly after the devastating storm. After Bain hit his game winning shot to stun the number one team in the country, his GoFundMe page (which you can visit here) took off. Thousands of donations poured in from all around the country. How much money was raised you might ask? Try 60,000 dollars. Before Tuesday night, Bain’s fund had sat at a little less than 3,000 dollars. As of 2:00 PM on Wednesday, the page had more than 64,000 dollars in donations. Bain had spoken to multiple sources about the devastation his home and his church suffered.

The church got hit really hard,” Bain told KTRE-TV in September. “My house got hit really hard. We lost just about everything. We are still trying to stay positive because more important than the material things, everyone in our circle and immediate family and church family is safe.”

Now, with 65,000 dollars and counting going towards helping his family recover, I believe it is agreeable that Bain’s family and friends will be safe and sound.

And the college basketball world will not only agree, but remember, the night Stephen F. Austin University defeated Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Thanks to an unbelievable play, from a player with an unbelievable story.

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